Order of Big Horn County Public Health Officer—20 Mar

No. 2020- 1

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

WHEREAS, as of March 16, 2020, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates there are over 3,400 confirmed cases and 68 deaths in the United States; and

WHEREAS, all states in the United States are experiencing confirmed cases of COVID-19 and multiple areas contiguous to Big Horn County, Montana have confirmed; 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, response plans and protocols have been activated to prepare for cases of COVID-19 in Big Horn County, Montana; and

WHEREAS, the Montana DPHHS, local health departments, health and medical departments and local jurisdictions have activated response plans and protocols to prepare for the arrival of the virus in Montana; and

WHEREAS, these partners have also worked to identify, contact, and test individuals in the State of Montana, County of Big Horn `who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 in coordination with the CDC; and

WHEREAS, proactively implementing mitigation measures to slow the spread of the virus is in the best interests of the State of Montana, Big Horn County and its people as set forth in the Board of Big Horn County Commissioners’ Emergency Proclamation Resolution No 2020-7, A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF BIG HORN COUNTY, MONTANA PROCLAIMING AN EMERGENCY RESULTING FROM THE IMMINENT THREAT OF A DISASTER CAUSING IMMEDIATE PERIL TO LIFE OR PROPERTY THAT TIMELY ACTION CAN AVERT OR MINIMIZE; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19, a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death, is caused by SARS-CoV-2 Virus, which is a new strain of Coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans and can easily spread from person-to-person; and

WHEREAS, the CDC identifies the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 both globally and in the United States as “high,” and has advised that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 will continue to occur globally, including within the United States; and

WHEREAS, the circumstances of this outbreak may exceed the capacity of the services, personnel, equipment, supplies and facilities of Big Horn County; and

Whereas, the Big Horn County Board of Health in consultation with public health authorities, has strongly recommended the limiting of gatherings, specifically avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people; and

WHEREAS, the Big Horn County Board of Health has the duty of protect the public from the introduction and spread of communicable disease; and

WHEREAS, Big Horn County’s Health Officer has determined that the potential spread of COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency and actions must be taken to avert and minimize the outbreak of this communicable disease; and

WHEREAS, Montana Code Annotated § 50-2-118 provides:

50-2-118. Powers and duties of local health officers. In order to carry out the purpose of the public health system, in collaboration with federal, state, and local partners, local health officers or their authorized representatives shall:

(1) make inspections for conditions of public health importance and issue written orders for compliance or for correction, destruction, or removal of the condition;

(2) take steps to limit contact between people in order to protect the public health from imminent threats, including but not limited to ordering the closure of buildings or facilities where people congregate and canceling events;

(3) report communicable diseases to the department as required by rule;

(4) establish and maintain quarantine and isolation measures as adopted by the local board of health; and

(5) pursue action with the appropriate court if this chapter or rules adopted by the local board or department under this chapter are violated.

WHEREAS, based upon the foregoing the local health officer should institute her authority to close buildings and facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the County of Big Horn, Montana.

NOW, THEREFORE IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, pursuant to Title 50, Chapter 2, Part 1, specifically but not limited to Montana Code Annotated § 50-2-118,

Effective 5:00 p.m. local time on Friday, March 20, 2020, for a period of time up to and through 12:01 a.m. local time March 28, 2020, unless extended by further order:

  • All establishments that provide a “full service experience” including but not limited to food for public consumption, alcoholic beverages, and lodging including but not limited to fishing/hunting lodges, resorts, AirBNB/Home Away VRBO facilities in Big Horn County Montana shall be closed except: while closed, may provide lodging for personnel essential to the people of Big Horn County (including but not limited to medical, mortuary ,law enforcement, child care, sanitation, retail including grocery stores and gas stations/convenience stores, and takeout  restaurant workers)


  • All establishments that sell alcoholic beverages for on premises consumption, including but not limited to bars and casinos in Big Horn County, Montana, shall be closed.


  • If not closed under the prior paragraphs, the food and beverage portion of all establishments that prepare or serve food or beverages for consumption, including but not limited to bed and breakfasts or any type of lodging that furnishes food or beverages, by way of example, but not limitation, motels or hotels that serve beverages or continental breakfasts or hunting or fishing lodges that prepare or serve meals, subject to the exceptions below, in Big Horn County, Montana, shall be closed except:

∘         While remaining closed to dine-in customers, food service operations may continue to provide for take-out and delivery services; and

∘         Food service establishments that are an integral part of a hospital as defined in Montana Code Annotated § 50-5-101 or a Long-term care facility as defined in Montana Code Annotated § 50-5-101 licensed by the State of Montana or operated by the United States Government may continue to operate using necessary – only personnel.


This Order supplements any Orders or Directives of the State of Montana or the United States Government regarding the COVID-19 virus and shall apply even if a facility or place is not mentioned in an Order of Directive of the State of Montana or the United States Government.


Done and Dated at Hardin, MT this 20th day of March 2020 at 10:44 a.m.



Carolyn Greimann, M.D.

Big Horn County Public Health Officer

Big Horn County, Montana



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