Butte Silver Bow City County Health Department

BUTTE, Mont. - Butte-Silver Bow County health officials are softening COVID-19 restrictions on businesses Friday, March 19.

Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos may have up to 75-percent capacity by Friday at 8 a.m., up from the 50-percent capacity limit established in December 2020.

According to Butte-Silver Bow County Health Department (BSBCHD), the health department will continue to review and approve large crowd gatherings of over 50 people.

BSBCHD wrote in a press release the lightening of restrictions is due to continual positive performance on metrics established by the county health department.

The county's two main metrics include the county's COVID-19 positivity rate and the amount of COVID-19 cases per 100,000.

According to BSBCHD's release, the positivity rate is 4.4-percent as of Monday and as of Tuesday, cases per 100,000 is 16. Butte-Silver Bow County Health Officer Karen Sullivan said health jurisdictions should remain under 10-percent positivity rate and under 25 cases per 100,000.

“The Board of Health and Health Department management staff believe the Board of Health rule should be revised to reflect the positive metric performance,” Sullivan said in the release. “That, and we are getting our population vaccinated.

According to Sullivan, it is likely restrictions will be fully removed by Wednesday, March 24 if the county's positivity rate and cases per 100,000 last through Tuesday, March 24. 

For large crowd gatherings, event planners for public and private events will work with the health department to ensure safety.

However, face covering requirements will still remain in place after the possible removal of COVID-19 restrictions.

County health officials advise the public continues to wash hands regularly, maintain social distancing, wear face coverings and get vaccinated as soon as they can.

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