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80 percent of Yellowstone Co. restaurants approved to reopen, says RiverStone Health

Social distancing required at dine-in spots
Posted at 3:59 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 18:00:17-04

About 80 percent of dine-in restaurants in Yellowstone County have been approved to reopen next Monday with new social-distancing and cleaning policies, county health officials said Wednesday.

RiverStone Health officials said in a news release that all dine-in restaurants in Yellowstone County must obtain this approval from Environmental Health Services before reopening Monday, May 4, a date identified by Gov. Steve Bullock for restaurants statewide to reopen.

Yellowstone County Health Officer John Felton is requiring all restaurants to develop a plan to maintain a distance of six feet among staff and patrons, install new signs, submit a plan of enhanced cleaning and develop policies for employee illnesses.

The approval notice must be displayed at the restaurant's main entrance.

“The reopening plan represents each food service provider’s commitment to complying with practices that enhance the safety of customers and employees during the novel coronavirus pandemic,” Felton said in a written statement.

In addition, Bullock is requiring all Montana restaurants to cut capacity in half and limit the size of groups to sit at single tables part of his phase reopening of the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Wednesday morning, 435 of the 540 establishments in Yellowstone County licensed to offer dine-in service have received approval to reopen from RiverStone Health.

Felton order the closure of all dine-restaurants in Yellowstone County on March 16 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Any restaurant that intends to offer dine-in services but has not yet completed the reopening plan should submit one to Environmental Health Services as soon as possible. Re-opening guidelines can be obtained by calling 256-2770 or emailing