At Thursday’s press conference in Helena, Governor Steve Bullock acknowledged that some counties will not be allowing fans at some high school sports events, and the difficulty that will bring to parents.

“I understand that the current determination by some health officers to not allow spectators high school and middle school events is difficult,” said Bullock. “I too have been looking forward to watching my own daughter play with the Bengals this fall. As we fight to put this pandemic behind us I remain convinced the ability for local jurisdictions to be more restrictive should continue in a way that protects the health and safety of the community and the opportunity for our kids to attend in person learning and participate in school activities.”

I understand that the current determination by some health officers to not allow spectators at high school and middle school events is difficult,” said Bullock. “I too have been looking forward to watching my own daughter play with the Bengals this fall.

Bullock said county health officers must have the final word when it comes to such matters.

“Local Health Officers are the folks principally responsible for protecting public health and enforcing our public health laws on the ground,” he said. “They are professionals required to possess academic credentials as outlined in state law. One of the most important duties of the local public health officer is to quote protect the public from the spread of communicable disease. COVID-19 is a new communicable disease that we're learning more about every single day, and they take that newly informed knowledge to help us in our fight forward on this.”

Bullock then shifted to the COVID 19 pandemic itself and that Montana has seen some improvement on the national scene.

“This week Montana was removed from the New Jersey, Connecticut, New York quarantine list,” he said. “To their credit, Phillips County, which only weeks ago had a significant outbreak, because of their efforts is now down to just five active cases. At the same time, Moody's ranked Montana just this past week fourth in the nation for our economy, returning to its pre-pandemic levels in March.”

With flu season rapidly approaching, Bullock addressed the issue of making the flu vaccine available to all who want it.

“About a week ago, the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced an amendment to the declaration under the public readiness and emergency preparedness Act, which authorizes state and licensed pharmacists to order and administer vaccines to individuals aged three through 18,” he said. “In all 50 states, pharmacists have requested that I issue a directive consistent with that HHS requirement and I will be doing so.”

Also appearing with Governor Bullock was State Medical Officer Dr. Greg Holzman.

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