THE LOCAL NEWS OF THE MADISON VALLEY, RUBY VALLEY AND SURROUNDING AREAS

Seasonal employees

Out-of-state seasonal employees who are coming to work in Madison County do not have to self-quarantine upon arrival.

According to the State of Emergency Operations Center, people traveling to Montana for work-related purposes are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement. Some Madison County employers, such as the U.S. Forest Service, are mandating its out-of-state employees to quarantine, regardless of the exemption. Some employers will legally exempt quarantining their employees coming in from other states.

In Virginia City, the Montana Heritage Commission will not be enforcing a 14-day quarantine for its three out-of-state seasonal workers. “We will be taking extra precautions for the three to limit their access to the public,” MHC Executive Director Elijah Allen said. Most of MHC’s seasonal employees greet visitors with information, stock merchandise, conduct ticket sales, work registers and maintain head counts for venues, according to Allen.

The governor’s statewide directive requiring travelers coming into the state to self-quarantine for 14 days is in effect until the end of the emergency. The directive is important to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, since people can be asymptomatic or not develop symptoms for two weeks, according to Madison County Public Health Department. But if the travel is for work, out-of-state incomers can be absorbed into the Montana communities that they have come to work in.

The exemption benefits the workforce, especially for seasonal economies like Madison County. Employers are required to monitor their employees for symptoms and provide proper sanitation measures for COVID-19. “We will adjust our concessionaires’ schedules and our own operations based on what phase we are in under Gov. Bullock’s plan going into Memorial Day,” Allen said. According to the Rocky Mountain Economic District, Virginia City has over 40 businesses that contribute to 1,226 jobs and earn millions of dollars a year for Montana.

MHC owns about a quarter of the buildings in Virginia City and all of Nevada City’s historic buildings. Businesses pay rent to MHC to operate in those buildings and are a part of the immersive experience. MHC has waived their tenants’ rent obligations if businesses do not open due to health concerns. MHC has also designated $10,000 for safety and sanitation supplies for residents and MHC operations and businesses.

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