Gov. Steve Bullock issued an order Tuesday prohibiting evictions of tenants and prohibiting landlords from charging late fees on rentals for the extent of his stay-at-home order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Bullock emphasized that his order was "no free pass" for renters, and he urged those who could pay to do so.
The order also prevents water or heat being shut off. Several utilities in Montana have already announced they were forgoing utility shutoffs.
Read the full directive here.
Bullock announced a stay-at-home order Montana last week, which extends through April 10. The order closed certain businesses considered nonessential and advised people to only leave their homes to get food, go to work at essential businesses and care for loved ones.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, closures of businesses by Bullock and county officials in Montana to control spread have forced thousands of Montanans to seek unemployment and worry about how to pay for housing.
Bullock has also indicated the stay-at-home directive could be extended, adding to the uncertainty for those undergoing ecomic hardships.
In addition, Bullock announced Tuesday additional efforts to ensure hospitals can obtain the necessary equipment to fight the disease.
All healthcare facilities statewide can seek financing related to the COVID-19 outbreak through the Montana Facility Finance Authority Act. This includes facilities that have postpone non-emergency procedures, which resulted in a loss of revenue.
Bullock also confirmed one more death from COVID-19, bringing the state's total to five. He also stated that 32 patients in Montana have recovered from the disease.
As of Tuesday morning, Montana had 184 cases of COVID-19. A new count will be released later Tuesday afternoon.
This is a developing story. Check back for details.