Flathead County Commission Declares State of Emergency Over Coronavirus

Declaration will allow health department to access additional funding during outbreak

By Justin Franz
The Flathead City-County Health Department. Beacon File Photo

The Flathead County Commission voted unanimously to declare a state of emergency on Wednesday in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Although there are no cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, in Northwest Montana, local officials have been preparing for the possibility that someone will be diagnosed with it.

Last week, the commission voted to appoint Flathead City-County Public Health Officer Hillary Hanson as incident commander for the county’s response to the virus that has sickened thousands across the country. This week, an incident management team, similar to what would respond to a wildfire, was set up at the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services.

Hanson requested the emergency declaration so that the county could access special funding from local, state and federal resources.

Gov. Steve Bullock announced a statewide emergency last week.

If people want more information about the impacts of coronavirus in Flathead County, they are encouraged to call a newly established information line at (406) 751-8188 or visit https://flatheadhealth.org/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.