Big Horn County orders 14-day quarantine for incoming travelers to curb COVID-19 spread

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 21:13:09-04

Non-residents coming into Big Horn County for non-work related reasons must self-quarantine for 14 days following the county's first confirmed case of COVID-19 Friday, according to an order issued Friday by Health Officer Rhonda Johnson.

"For non-residents, if they're coming in for non-work related travel, we would ask that they self-quarantine for 14 days," Johnson said.

In addition, Big Horn County residents who leave the county for non-work-related reasons must practice social distancing of six feet, wear a protective mask and check their temperature twice daily upon returning.

She said under the order, residents working outside the county are being asked to follow the those same guidelines.

"If they go to Billings to go to work, we are asking them to follow those same precautions that we're asking for residents who travel outside the county," Johnson said.

Those living on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations are the same as Big Horn County residents.

Much of the Crow Reservation and a small part of the Norther Cheyenne reservation are in Big Horn County.

"We consider them both within the county for this purpose," Johns said. "If they come into Hardin for shopping, they're still within Big Horn County. But we are asking all of our residents to take precautions."

Johnson said the representatives from tribes, Indian Health Services, hospitals, health organizations, schools, Lodge Grass and Hardin meet weekly on conference calls.

All nonessential gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Essential gatherings, which include weddings, funerals and religious services, are allowed but limited to 10 people or fewer.

Big Horn County Attorney Jay Harris tells Q2, this order is “under legal review to determine its enforecability.”

Harris is looking at the whole order, but part of it states: "This shall apply to any person who intends to stay in Big Horn County more than 24 hours or who does stay in Big Horn County more than 24 hours."

Meanwhile, the county had its first COVID-19 case.

A man in his 40's tested positive and is not hospitalized, according to the Big Horn County Health Department.

Anyone who suspects they could be infected with coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, should contact the Office of the Public Health Officer at (406) 665-8720 or

Read the full order here.

Read the press release from Big Horn County here.