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Flathead County Dodges Vote On Further COVID-19 Restrictions


The Flathead County Board of Health Thursday refrained from imposing any new health restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The board was due to vote on a measure that would limit all social gatherings to no more than 25 people regardless of the ability to social distance and reduced capacity at bars, restaurants and churches to 25 percent. These restrictions would have only been in effect if case numbers exceed 375 per week. 

However, Flathead County Health Officer Tamalee Robinson’s proposal was removed from the health board’s agenda. Robinson declined to comment on why.

She advocated for board members to vote in favor of another restriction that would have limited large events to 500 people, which is double the limit for group sizes recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We had a trade show recently where one man — we had one death attributed to that trade show. So, as we’re looking into the winter season and people going in doors, I think this is a reasonable mitigation strategy."

The board voted down the limit on event sizes, although it wasn’t unanimous. More than 1,200 people in Flathead County are known to be infected with COVID-19, second only behind Yellowstone County. 

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Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.