Custer County health officials said Thursday they are "strongly recommending" the county return to phase one of the governor's reopening plan for two weeks because of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
Custer County has 15 active cases of COVID-19, the second most in the state, and 19 total confirmed cases.
Moving back to phase one mean reducing capacity in bars and restaurants back to 50 percent, reducing the size of larger gathering, including athletic and community events and assemblies, and other restrictions.
The Custer County Board of Health and the health officer also said in a news release that the Montana National Guard will be in the area Friday and Saturday to run free drive-through testing at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds.
Health officials made the following recommendations:
- Stay home if you are not feeling well, even with mild symptoms, and contact your healthcare provider
- Wash/sanitize your hands frequently
- Wear a face covering when out in public
- Avoid traveling, unless essential
Montana entered phase two of Gov. Steve Bullock's reopening plan on June 1. Bullock said individual counties, tribes and other jurisdictions could choose to phase one they felt necessary because of a local COVID-19 outbreak.
Since June 1, Montana has reported 143 new COVID-19 cases, according to the state's database.