County closes restaurants, bars, casinos and vacation rental services

Order permits food delivery and take-out
Friday, March 20, 2020

Big Horn County public health officials announced new measures to help curtail the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus.

According to the press release, dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses, and lodging including fishing or hunting lodges, resorts and vacation rental services, in the county are ordered to close at 5 p.m. on today. The order expires at 12:01 a.m. on March 28.

It is likely that order will be extended past March 28, according to the press release.

“We support our Public Health Officer in the need to protect the citizens of Big Horn County and beyond during this pandemic. We each need to take the risks seriously and protect ourselves and one another,” said George Real Bird III, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for Big Horn County. “While this is a difficult decision, continuing business as usual endangers the lives of our community and beyond.”

The Big Horn County order supplements any orders or directives of the State of Montana or the United States Government regarding the COVID-19 virus.

While under the order to close, lodging establishments may provide lodging to personnel essential to the people of Big Horn County, including medical, law enforcement, mortuary, sanitation, child care, retail, including grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores and take-out restaurant workers.

The businesses under the closure order include, restaurants, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption; alcoholic beverage service businesses, including bars and other establishments offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption; casinos; and establishments that provide “full-service experience” including fishing or hunting lodges, resorts and vacation rental services, such as Airbnb rentals.

County officials in the press release said the restaurants, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments subject to this order are permitted and encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including maintaining a distance of more than six feet from other people.

To view the full order, please visit the Big Horn County website at