COVID-19 Communication Response and Resources

COVID-19 UPDATE Check out the latest Glacier Country Tourism information on communication response and resources.
Adventure is Essential. Travel Responsibly. Photo: Andy Austin

UPDATED: October 16, 2020

Status of COVID-19 in Montana

Montana is in Phase Two of reopening the state in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We have all gone to great lengths to help control the spread, and it remains imperative that we continue to do our part by following state and CDC guidelines.

At this time, social distancing is still expected, and all vulnerable or high-risk individuals should continue to follow the stay at home guidance and postpone nonessential travel. Everyone, especially those at higher risk of getting sick, should continue to follow Montana Department of Public Health recommendations to protect themselves. Face coverings are mandatory in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing is not possible for everyone ages five and up.


Montana Aware Toolkit

The Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has launched the Montana Aware campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. The public health initiative aims to educate residents and visitors on safe travel best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of this initiative, the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development has developed a toolkit of resources to help you educate residents and visitors on safe travel best practices. The toolkit includes posters, graphics and logos.

View the full toolkit.

Glacier Country Tourism is working with the Montana Department of Commerce to implement the Montana Aware campaign. We are assisting with the coordination of distributing safety messaging in our communities. The safety messaging includes a number of physical materials included in the toolkit. We have created a program where we will produce and ship all physical materials from the toolkit to organizations within our communities who will then distribute the materials to local businesses. To inquire if these materials are available in your community, please email MTAware@glaciermt.com.

Access the Montana Aware Safety Campaign Community Assistance Program.


Statewide Mask Requirement in Public Spaces:

The provisions of the Directive apply only to counties in which there are four or more confirmed and active COVID-19 cases, and only during the time in which there are four or more active cases. However, Montanans in counties with three or fewer active cases are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.

Face Covering Requirement in Indoor Spaces Open to the Public 
All businesses, government offices, or other persons responsible for indoor spaces open to the public shall require and take reasonable measures to ensure that all employees, contractors, volunteers, customers, or other members of the public wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times while entering or remaining in any indoor spaces open to the public.
 + Face coverings shall be provided for all employees and volunteers.
 + All points of entry open to the public shall have a clearly visible sign posted stating:
“Mask or face covering use required for ages five and older.”

Face Covering Requirements for Certain Organized Outdoor Activities
 + For any organized outdoor activity where social distancing is not possible or is not observed, sponsors shall require and take reasonable measures to ensure that all persons attending an organized outdoor activity wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times. 
 This section applies only where the nature of the organized outdoor activity makes it impracticable for all attendees to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from each other, or any organized outdoor activity where attendees are not observing at least six feet of physical distance from others.
 At all outdoor gatherings of 50 or more people, whether or not it constitutes an organized outdoor activities, all individuals except those excluded from this Directive are required to wear face coverings while in attendance where it is impracticable to maintain six feet of physical distance at all times, or whether attendees are not observing at least six feet of physical distance from others.

Exceptions
Businesses, government offices, other persons responsible for indoor spaces open to the public, and sponsors of organized outdoor activities are not required to ensure the following individuals wear face coverings:
 + Children under the age of five. All children between the ages of two and four, however, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in accordance with the provisions of this Directive. Children under the age of two should not wear a face covering.
 + Persons consuming food or drinks in an establishment that offers food or drinks for sale.
 + Persons engaged in an activity that makes wearing a face covering impractical or unsafe such as strenuous physical exercise or swimming.
 + Persons seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired.
 + Persons giving a speech or engaging in an artistic, cultural, musical, or theatrical
performance for an audience, provided the audience is separated by at least six feet of
distance.
 + Persons temporarily removing their face covering for identification purposes.
 + Persons required to remove face coverings for the purpose of receiving medical
evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment.
 + Persons who have a medical condition precluding the safe wearing of a face covering.

Read the full Directive here


Montana's Phase Two Directive:  

+ Permissible group size of 50, social distancing is recommended for any group size. Groups larger than 50 can take place if adequate social distancing can be maintained. 
 + Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos remain in the same operational status as Phase One, but with an increase to 75% capacity.
 + Gyms, indoor group fitness classes, pools, and hot tubs can operate at 75% capacity and only if they can adhere to strict physical distancing and they exercise frequent sanitation protocols.
 + Concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and must adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines set forth for group gatherings and follow CDC sanitation protocols.
 + Child-care facilities have increased capacity consistent with the guidelines and FAQs' contained in the April 1 Directive on childcare and if physical distancing guidelines can be implemented.
 + Senior living or assisted living facilities must continue to follow the guidelines of Phase One.
 + Outdoor recreation remains in the same operational status as Phase One.

Read the Governor's Phase Two Directive with Appendices + Reopening Montana Phased Approach

Employers who are reopening:
 Develop and implement appropriate policies, in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance, and informed by industry best practices, regarding:
 + Social distancing and protective equipment.
 + Temperature checks and/or symptom screening.
 + Testing, isolating, and contact tracing, in collaboration with public health authorities.
 + Sanitation.
 + Use and disinfection of common and high-traffic areas.
 + Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow people with symptoms of COVID-19 to work.
 + Collaborate with public health officials when implementing policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following an employee’s COVID-19 positive test result.
 + Encourage voluntary participation of employees in any surveillance testing designed to provide community-wide early warning by local public health officials.
 + Employers should continue to permit telework as much as possible and where feasible, but refer to guidelines for Phase One where telework is not possible.

Local jurisdictions may enact guidelines that are more restrictive than the State guidelines.


Montana News and Updates

September 27: Due to a spike in COVID cases, the Blackfeet Reservation issued a mandatory Stay at Home Order for the entire reservation through Sunday, October 25, 2020.

September 9: Glacier National Park operations adjust for a fall schedule.


Guidance For Travelers

Montana prioritizes the health and safety of our citizens and visitors. Glacier Country Tourism and Visit Montana want to ensure that you have the resources needed to make informed travel decisions. We are taking precautions according to information and recommendations released by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization and we encourage the traveling public to seek and heed the latest expert guidance.

PLEASE TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY
 + Face coverings are mandatory in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
 + Stay up-to-date on travel regulations and COVID-19 situation using reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
 + Plan ahead to ensure businesses and attractions are open.
 + Stay safe, and help keep others safe.
 + Continue to monitor the situation, and adjust plans accordingly.
 + Continue to social distance indoors and out, and avoid gathering in groups of more than 50 when physical distancing is not possible.

LEAVE NO TRACE
 + Help us preserve our wild places by packing out everything you pack in.
 + When you fish and boat Montana's waterways, it's important to follow steps to ensure you don't contribute to the introduction of invasive species—they're a real threat to Montana's waterways. Read more about mandatory watercraft inspectionsClean. Drain. Dry. protocols, and protecting our waters.
 + Respecting animals while wildlife watching helps keep both them and you safe. Stay the recommended distance away from all wildlife, and do not feed them or put yourself or others in danger trying to get that perfect selfie with a mountain goat.

PRACTICE WILDLAND FIRE SAFETY
 + Properly putting out campfires is crucial. Campfires and Montana go hand in hand, but Western Montana is susceptible to wildland fire, especially during the dry summer months. Have fun sleeping out under the stars, but please do your part to ensure that your actions involving fire are responsible. Campfires must be extinguished completely.

BE KIND, RESPECTFUL AND PATIENT
 + We're all in this together, and human decency is paramount. We expect residents and visitors to be mutually respectful of each other. We all have a common goal—to enjoy Montana. Also, our parks and rec personnel, essential workers, and small business owners deserve to be treated with respect and understanding now more than ever.

We all want to enjoy exploring Montana, let's work together to keep each other safe and healthy. For more safety information visit Montana’s Travel Alerts. This page is being kept up-to-date by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development. Or view Glacier Country Tourism's travel alerts at glaciermt.com/travel-updates and SafetyFirstMT.com.

TRIBAL NATIONS

Tribal Nations in Montana continue to exercise caution to protect their elders and other vulnerable populations from the spread of COVID-19. Visitors to Montana should be aware travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic may vary on the seven American Indian reservations in Montana. Click here for a map of their locations.

Blackfeet Indian Reservation

In Glacier Country, the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is closed to anyone who does not live on the reservation. Visitors may drive through and stop for essential services only; however, services may be limited or unavailable, and recreation areas on tribal lands have been closed to nonresidents.

Due to a spike in COVID cases, the Blackfeet Reservation issued a mandatory Stay at Home Order for the entire reservation through Sunday, October 25, 2020.

Flathead Indian Reservation

The Flathead Indian Reservation is open to nonresidents. All recreation restrictions were lifted, effective September 8, 2020, on Tribal lands within the Flathead Indian Reservation, although Tribal conservation and fishing permits are required.

TRAVEL FROM CANADA

To our friends in Canada wondering about crossing the U.S. border for a Montana visit: While we look forward to seeing you when the time is right, recreational visits are not permitted between the United States and Canada at this time. Please read more on our International Border Crossings page.


A Message From Glacier Country Tourism on COVID-19

Before I share with you what we are doing at Glacier Country Tourism, I want to take a moment to share with you an optimistic thought.

The challenge that this outbreak represents to you, and to your family, friends and community is unlike anything we have seen before. We find ourselves having to process our way through uncertainty, understandable anxiety and heightened risk. At some point though, hopefully sooner rather than later, the world will return to normal. Throughout history, people have always risen to meet whatever challenges have been thrown their way—usually emerging stronger than ever.

What is most important now is that you stay safe and healthy. To that end, here is what Glacier Country Tourism is doing to help share messaging about how to ensure the safety and health of our communities and industry.

Glacier Country Tourism is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely. Montana public health agencies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Travel Association and many other trusted agencies and associations are providing regular updates regarding the current status and its impact on the travel and tourism industry. We will be making every effort to help share current information about ongoing developments.

We are doing our best to keep our communities healthy and safe, which means incorporating a social distancing into our operations including our staff working from home. Our team and on-line visitor resources are fully operational and can be reached during normal business hours.

The travel industry has always been one of the first sectors of our economy to recover after a crisis and we will be here to ensure that happens as responsively as able.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we face these challenging times together.

Racene Friede l President CEO


Press Release: Montana Tourism Industry Unites for "Montana Aware" Campaign


Montana Partner and Community Resources


October 15: COVID-19 Travel Data

October 13: The Latest on Coronavirus

October 8: COVID-19 Travel Data

October 6: The Latest on Coronavirus

October 1: COVID-19 Travel Data

September 29: The Latest on Coronavirus


Additional Resources

For up-to-date information:

For how to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

For how to protect yourself from scams related to COVID-19:

For information about the CARES Act:

For information from specific federal agencies and departments: 

Glacier Country Tourism is the advocate, partners and marketing arm for all communities and member businesses throughout Western Montana. As a member of Glacier Country Tourism, there are several ways to leverage their marketing to reach potential visitors interested in Montana.

- Diane Medler, Discover Kalispell/CVB/TBID