Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

The Phillips County Board of Health approves COVID-19 Emergency Declaration



March 18, 2020

Edited at 5:32 p.m., March 19, purpose: Health Board Members were incorrect.

The Phillips County Board of Health passed and approved an Emergency Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and emailed it the PCN on Thursday, March 19, affirming that there are no known virus cases in the county and that testing has occurred and medical quarantines have been mandated.

"Phillips County Commissioners have Declared a State of Emergency for Phillips County in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic," the statement says. "The Phillips County Board of Health met on Monday, March 16th and Wednesday, March 18th and determined that transmission of COVID-19 in Phillips County is an immediate risk."

The Phillips County Board of Health consists of Phillips County Commissioners Richard Dunbar, John F. Carnahan, Bruce Christofferson, Laurel Enyeart, and Sonia Young and are advised by Jenny Tollefson, Mike Rinaldi, and Anne Johnson.

These individuals under medical quarantine were tested because they were either direct contact to a positive COVID-19 case or had a travel history with appropriate symptoms that warranted testing, states the release.

The rest of the press release is as follows:

"If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. It's important to know you should seek medical attention but CALL FIRST. If you'd like to speak with a Montana epidemiologist or public health nurse for advice regarding COVID-19, you can call the hotline number at 1-888-333-0461.

"The Phillips County Board of Health is taking this situation very seriously and it's important for the community to understand the capabilities of our health care system in Phillips County. Our local hospital only has 6 inpatient beds with limited ground transfer options and restricted flight transfer for severely ill COVID-19 patients to other facilities.

"The Philips County Board of Health cannot emphasize enough how important it is that our county be proactive and follow guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the Board of Health is strictly limiting social gatherings of 10 people or less. Avoid eating or drinking at bars, casinos, restaurants and food courts and use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options. Avoid nonessential travel. If you are an older person or have a serious underlying health condition, stay home and away from other people.

Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are also at risk. It is critical that you do your part to stop the spread whenever possible. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands. Avoid touching your face. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or inside of your elbow. Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as as·much as possible.

Please know that Phillips County Health Department is working diligently with our local partners to ease the burden of our local healthcare system and provide accurate and important information to the public They follow the guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). If you have any questions, call (406) 654-2521," the press release concludes. ·

Resolution No. 2020-08, is the County Emergency Declaration Resolution and states:



WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus a pandemic, and

WHEREAS, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) recognizes COVID-19 as a threat to the residents of Montana, and

WHEREAS, the Montana Governor of Montana Steve Bullock has declared a State of Emergency related to this disease, and

WHEREAS, the Phillips County Health Board also recognizes COVID-19 as a threat to the residents of Phillips County, and local response plans and protocols have been activated to prepare for the arrival of the virus, and

WHEREAS, the circumstances of this disease may exceed the capacity of the services, personnel, equipment, supplies and facilities within Phillips County and the mutual aid resource's available, and

WHEREAS, the availability and utilization of all necessary County and mutual aid services, equipment, and suppliers under this declaration will further the efforts to protect the· health and safety, liv s, property, and resources of the people of Phillips County, and ·

WHEREAS, when Phillips County has a positive case of COVID-19 .within the County it will exceed our local capacity,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the County Commissioners that an Emergency is hereby-declared pursuant to Section 10-3-402, MCA, because response to and recovery from this disease will exceed the financial capability of the County.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of their resolution be filed with the County Clerk

& _Recorder, County Assessor and the Montana Disaster and Emergency Services Division in Helena.


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