To Montana Business Owners and Managers:
As business executives, you have a deep connection with your communities, partners, customers, and employees. It’s your businesses, both large and small, that power Montana’s economy. As concerns and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) get closer to home, please know that my state agencies and I are working tirelessly to keep Montanans safe, and to support you and your employees.
I have created a multi-agency task force, to ensure Montana is prepared to respond to a local COVID-19 outbreak. This task force and I are in constant communication with one another and are reviewing all options available to ensure your businesses and workers have the support you need to work in a safe and productive manner. You have my commitment to mobilize Montana’s government to respond in an appropriate, and timely fashion both prior to and during a possible outbreak.
We all need to work together to make this response effective. I urge you to stay informed through reputable sources of information during this rapidly changing public health situation. Please visit the Montana Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 website to find resources and daily updates related to the virus.
In addition, the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made available dozens of resources to help businesses and public facilities follow best practices when it comes to cleaning, supporting sick employees, and policies to put in place to support workers who are sick or caring for ill family members. This includes requiring sick employees to stay home or work from home, educating employees and customers on proper hygiene guidance, and review and update any emergency plans your business may need to have in place should a large number of employees be unable to work. Additionally, I urge compassion and leniency in your official sick leave policies during this challenging time.
The best way to prevent infection from COVID-19 and any respiratory virus is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The same preventative measures that are recommended during cold and flu season will also help to protect against coronavirus:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds using soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue (or your elbow)
- Stay home if you are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Thank you for the work you do each day to keep our communities and economy vibrant.