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Coronavirus: Changes to daily life

Cancellations, closures, announcements in Billings area
Posted at 10:17 PM, Mar 13, 2020

Concerns and proactive measures for the coronavirus have prompted many organizations and businesses to cancel or suspend events until a later date in the Billings area. Q2 News wants to provide this community bulletin board to share information to help you make decisions as we get through this virus.
Here's a partial list:

The Unified Health Command for Yellowstone County website is:<hr/><hr/>

Governor Steve Bullock today announced that small businesses across Montana impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are now eligible to apply for emergency loans through the Small Business Administration.
“We are monitoring the impacts of coronavirus in real time – both from a public health perspective and an economic health perspective,” Governor Bullock said. “Ensuring that small businesses in Montana have access to capital and resources that will allow them to weather temporary closures and bounce back from critical quarantine efforts is paramount to my administration.”

Governor Steve Bullock today announced emergency rules to make unemployment benefits accessible to workers laid off due to COVID-19 and waive the typical one week waiting period before receiving benefits.
“The rules we’ve implemented today will ensure that workers impacted by COVID-19, whether it’s because they’ve been laid off, are quarantined, or need to take care of a family member, can do so without worrying about how they will make ends meet during these difficult times,” Governor Bullock said.

The Red Lodge Community Foundation has postponed our Annual Meeting that was scheduled for March 25th at the Roosevelt Center. In fact, we have postponed all of our public meetings through April. We are looking forward to creating a celebratory annual meeting event when social distancing comes to an end!

Governor Steve Bullock today announced that uninsured Montanans, who receive a recommendation from a provider, will be eligible to receive coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
“This is a significant step in containing the spread of coronavirus in our state. We know that the lack of health insurance often results in the delay of seeing a doctor or being turned away, which could further fuel this pandemic and put other Montanans at risk,” said Governor Bullock. “It’s going to take all of us working together to slow the spread, and that includes looking out for those who don’t have health insurance, particularly those most vulnerable.”
Under the governor’s emergency authority, state funds, with potential for federal funds, will be used to pay for COVID-19 testing for Montanans without health insurance. If confirmed positive for COVID-19, funds will be used to cover treatment costs. Montanans will be required to provide a recommendation from a provider according to current CDC guidance and the state will reimburse them for that provider visit.

FWP temporarily closes Montana WILD, visitor centersIn keeping with social distancing guidelines for COVID-19 to protect public health and safety, Montana WILD will be closed to the public beginning March 16, until further notice. In addition, fish hatcheries and visitor centers will be closed for two weeks. This includes those at Montana State Parks. However, FWP’s outdoor recreation areas, including fishing access sites and state parks, will remain open.

From Billings Gymnastics School: The Billings Gymnastics School has decided to close the doors effective noon today, Monday, March 16th. We will re-open for classes on Monday, March 30th. It's been a tough call. We really wanted to offer respite to our students and some fun during this trying time. However, we believe this is what is best for our community. Thank you for your business, your understanding, and your patience. Keep safe and healthy out there!

All MHSA spring activities will be indefinitely suspended until further notice. This includes practices and contests/meet/festivals. The Executive Board will reevaluate this situation on April 13th and any additional information regarding spring activities will be provided as it becomes available.

Billings Public Schools Emergency Closure Meal Service
Locations:Castle Rock Middle SchoolLewis and Clark Middle SchoolRiverside Middle School*Other locations added as needed.
Service Times:Breakfast: 7:45 - 8:30Lunch: 11:00 - 12:30
Meals will be provided Monday through FridayMeals may be picked up at the bus turnaround curbside. Meals are free of charge to all children 18 years and younger. Adult Meals available for $2.00 Breakfast and $4.00 Lunch. CHILDREN MUST BE PRESENT TO RECEIVE MEALS Questions? - Please call 406-281-5878

Bishop Michael Warfel announced on Monday afternoon that all public masses in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings will be suspended until Monday, March 30.The order was made due to public health concerns over the continuing spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
He said this includes the extension of a general dispensation for all the faithful from the obligation to participate at Mass on Sunday.
Warfel said that he had a conference call on Monday with a majority of the priests serving in this diocese in order to receive their input and advice.

From Stockman Bank:) In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stockman Bank has implemented a plan to ensure continued access to banking services, along with assistance to customers financially impacted by COVID-19. “Over the past few weeks, we have all become part of an unprecedented world health crisis,” said Bill Coffee, Stockman CEO. “As schools, universities and local businesses temporarily close, community and sporting events canceled and people stay home to self quarantine, care for loved ones or even themselves should they become ill, we recognize the stress and anxiety this causes for Montanans who still have bills to pay. As Montana’s community bank we are making accommodations to help reduce this stress and protect customers’ credit.” Until we get through the pandemic, Coffee said Stockman is offering to defer loan payments that are due. Then, post crisis, the bank will restructure debt for borrowers as necessary. Stockman will also work with commercial and Ag customers directly impacted by this crisis on a case-by-case basis. For now, all of Stockman’s banking locations across the state remain open under current operating hours.

All bars, restaurants, brew pubs, wineries and casino in Yellowstone County will shut down at 8 a.m. Tuesday for one week in an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, county health officials said Monday.
Restaurants are allowed to sell take out food, according to the order signed by Yellowstone County Health Office John Felton.
In addition, food service establishments that serve a specific population, such as a university dining hall or cafeteria, will remain open.
The ban lasts through midnight March 23, which is next Monday.

From Rimrock Mall: As the rapidly evolving news of the COVID-19 outbreak continues, the health and well-being of our customers, tenants, employees, and communities remain our top priority. At Rimrock Mall, we are continuing to make informed decisions based on state and national guidelines as well as advice from local health authorities. While mass gatherings have been canceled, spaces, where people are constantly moving such as airports, shopping malls and centers, grocery stores or similar spaces, remain open per public guidelines. However, with the support of our local health department, Rimrock Mall will reduce its hours beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, until further notice.
The temporary hours are:
Monday - Saturday: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Please check with individual stores, restaurants, and any exterior-facing tenants at the center as they may have varying hours so they can continue to provide support and services to our communities. Additionally, all center events have been canceled through Tuesday, March 31.

Rocky Mountain College is joining other educational institutions in Montana to take steps to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and help protect the health and safety of our students and community. Starting Wednesday, March 18, the College will move to online/alternative instruction through April 13, 2020. All College events and College-sponsored travel are canceled through April 13.

The Yellowstone Art Museum will temporarily close to the public starting March 17, 2020. The YAM will remain closed for two weeks, and we anticipate reopening to the public on Wednesday, April 1, 2020..

From the Pub Station: The Pub Station Taproom and Ticket Window will be closed effective immediately through April 15th. Any shows that were scheduled for that time frame are being postponed. Our team believes this is the best course of action in order to get back to business as soon as safely possible, which along with public safety, is our goal. We understand that this is a stressful and uncharted time for everyone, but we encourage our patrons to hold on to any previously purchased tickets, as all tickets will be honored for the postponed dates.
Due to the ticket window closure, tickets will only be available at [] or by phone at 919-653-0443. As this is a fluid situation, we will keep our community in the loop if/when information changes.
In the meantime, stay safe and take care of each other..

The Board and Staff of Art House Cinema has made the decision to suspend all events and public activity at both Art House Cinema & Pub and The Babcock Theatre. The Board struggled with how best to serve the community while maintaining the safety of our staff, our volunteers, and especially our patrons, and unfortunately we concluded that as of Monday, March 16th until Friday, April 3rd (tentatively) we will be closed..

As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, Museum of the Rockies will be closed to the public March 17-31. Additionally, the MSU Spring Rodeo scheduled for April 2-5 is also postponed.

The City of Laurel has declared a State of Emergency. Laurel Mayor Thomas Nelson says the delcaration will allow the City to access State and Federal resources.

From Red Ants Pants: Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, our in-store team has been given paid time off to keep themselves and their families healthy. While our storefront will be closed, our online distribution through [] will continue as usual.

March 17: Make a Wish Montana Waffles for Wishes at the Billings Depot has been canceled.
March 18-24 women's DI NAIA tournament in Billings has been canceled
Mar 18th- The Jobs Jamboree has been canceled
March 19: The Treasure State Classic high school girls basketball tournament scheduled for MSUB and the Billings Hotel Senior Classic boys basketball tournament scheduled for Senior High have been canceled.
March 20-Montana RV-Boat & Powersports Show at the MetraPark Expo Center has been canceled.
March 23rd-Wise Wonder’s 3rd Annual Chefs event has been rescheduled.
March 24th, Rimrock Mall Job 2nd Annual Let's Get to Work Career Fair
Mar 28th: The Habitat for Humanity BASHH Fundraiser has been canceled
April 4- Extravaganzoo Zoo MT activities
April 26th-Cher- Rescheduled for a later date- October 5th
PROMS: Senior, Skyview, West have been temporarily postponed

ZooMontana announced adjustments to their schedule and daily activities:
Program Cancellations
-Breakfast with the Animals
-Sam/Uki and Friends
-Behind the Scenes Tours
-Homeschool Programming
-Birthday Parties
-Indoor Animal Encounters
-Events over 250 People

If you have any cancellations you would like to add to the list, please let us know at