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Commissioners make declaration of Disaster; continue business closures in Granite County

PHILIPSBURG – The Granite County Commissioners made an official declaration of a ‘Disaster’ Tuesday regarding the COVID-19 virus.

The declaration (posted below) is a second, necessary step by the governing body to access needed emergency funds when they become available.

The Commissioners also extended the closures of all businesses, schools and other gathering spots until Friday, a move that was made secondary when Governor Steve Bullock extended his closure order through April 10 that also included public schools. He noted that the April 10 date could be extended as well.

Mark Ransford, Chairman Granite County Board of Health, clarified that the closures were the same as those issued March 17, in that business are closed to dine in guests but may still serve take out order.

Ransford posted an update to the county website Tuesday that indicated that city parks were still open but that people should observe safe social distancing guidelines. The statement reads, “We are still having a problem with this, so I have asked the Sheriff’s officers to request gatherings of the public to follow social distancing. … Social distancing is the most important prevention method we have.”

Ransford noted that there has been incredible cooperation from the schools, businesses and local governments.

The posting also noted that Discovery Ski Area hill is closed for the season.

A third posting was a request of Granite County citizens to donate any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that they may have for use by county healthcare workers and first responders. The statement indicated that supplies of items such as masks, respirators, gloves, face shields and eye protection that are not being used for lifesaving functions be donated. Donated PPE items can be dropped off at Granite County Medical Center or by contacting Jackie Bolster at 406.544.0177.

In the Commissioner’s COVID-19 update, they reported no cases of the virus in Granite County but that there were in counties immediately surrounding Granite.

Updated to reflect Ransford's clarification of the Business Closures.


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