Corin Cates-Carney

Corin Cates-Carney is the Flathead Valley reporter for MTPR.

Corin has worked for NPR, and is a UM Journalism School Graduate.

The Montana National Guard is activating 73 soldiers and airmen to screen people coming into the state for signs of illness from the novel coronavirus.

Under orders from Gov. Steve Bullock, national guard troops will be stationed at 17 train stations and airports in 11 cities starting Friday, Bullock says.

Self employed, gig workers and freelancers in Montana can now file for unemployment benefits under the federal aid package passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump last week.

The $2 trillion spending bill aims to provide economic relief amid the novel coronavirus pandemic that’s caused statewide stay-at-home orders and businesses to close their doors.

Monday was the first day that public schools across Montana were required to have plans in place for how they will deliver online or remote education, as well as other services. MTPR’s Corin Cates-Carney spoke with reporter Aaron Bolton about classes moving forward as school buildings remain closed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic:

The marque at the Babcock Theater in billings reads "Wash Your Hands, We Will Be Back."
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s stay at home directive goes into effect at midnight through April 10.

County attorneys are to enforce the directive that prohibits Montanans from leaving their homes, with exceptions for essential trips to access food, medical care, low-risk recreation and some exempted work.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is ordering the state’s roughly 1 million residents to stay at home, with some exceptions like getting supplies or groceries, seeking medical care or going on a walk. It’s the state’s latest step to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The order starts Saturday March 28 and lasts two weeks until April 10th.

Montana state lawmakers say the state government is flush with reserve cash as the COVID-19 pandemic creates economic uncertainty around the world. Analysts with the Montana Legislative Fiscal Division report the state’s level of cash reserves, currently sitting at $464 million, is relatively high compared to most years in the past.

The Montana state health department is closing some public services offices Friday to limit face to-face interaction amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Applications for safety-net services like SNAP food assistance, TANF cash assistance and health care coverage can be done online, phone, fax or mail.

As of this update, the Montana state lab has tested over 500 people in Montana for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Ten of those tests have come back positive. Montana Public Radio’s Corin Cates-Carney spoke with Montana’s State Medical Officer Gregory Holzman earlier Wednesday to learn how testing is happening, who's getting tested and what to expect moving forward.

Even as Montana's public K-12 schools sit closed over coronavirus concerns, work on the school system continues. Newly released data from the state of Montana provides a picture of just how much it costs to educate the state's students.

Released this week, the state's "report card" shows it cost an average of $10,474.64 to educate each student in the public school system last year. The actual cost varies depending on districts or schools.

Montana driver’s licenses expiring in March, April and May of this year will have an extended 90-day renewal deadline. Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday he would sign an executive order allowing for the extension.