A temporarily closed sign is posted in an art gallery in Bozeman, Montana, March 18, 2020.
Rachel Cramer/Yellowstone Public Radio

Montanans who are self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers impacted by COVID-19 are now receiving unemployment payments.

A photo of Prairiedawn Thunderchild, Tahnee Thunderchild, Lance Fourstar, Catherine Bear, Delberta Eagleman, Angeline Cheek, Vermae Taylor and Cheyenne Foote taken Apr. 14, 2020.
Curtis Yaz

This week, tribal members who protested the Keystone XL oil pipeline construction earlier this month submitted statements to a federal judge that they witnessed workers breaking social distancing protocol.

A welcome sign for Crow Country.
Olivia Reingold / Yellowstone Public Radio

The Crow Tribe is extending its stay at home order to May 14.

In an executive order issued Apr. 30, Chairman AJ Not Afraid writes it’s essential for tribal members and residents to stay at home to the maximum extent possible to protect public health and human safety on the Crow Reservation.

Dale Sexton on a bike ride with his two daughters in Livingston, Montana.
Courtesy of Kristen Galbraith

As Montana wraps up its first week of the phased reopening plan, families across the state are feeling a whole spectrum of emotions as main street businesses unlock their doors and people leave their homes.

A large warehouse holds stacks of plywood.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

The Montana National Guard on Monday started building a mobile medical facility for non-COVID-19 patients in case regional medical centers see a surge in new illnesses caused by the novel coronavirus.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has set a goal for the state to conduct 60,000 COVID-19 tests per month, though sourcing the materials needed to conduct the test remains a challenge.

Bullock says starting next week the state will begin testing all willing residents and employees at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The governor says the state will also increase testing in tribal communities.

Some hospitals and medical facilities in Montana are beginning to again provide elective surgeries and procedures.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) started its phased-approach to providing in-person services Monday. KRH is starting with in-person medical services not requiring anesthesia at various locations.

A generic photo of a school crossing sign.
Rafael Sato / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

President Donald Trump says states should “seriously consider” reopening their public schools before the end of the academic year, even though dozens already have said it would be unsafe for students to return until the summer or fall.

A sign near Gardiner, Montana, sits near the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park, May 16, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park’s largest concessionaire announced it will not begin operations until June 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Rural U.S., Fears Of Virus Seem Far Away As Stores Reopen

Apr 29, 2020
An "Open" sign for a business.
Deb Beatty Mel / Public Domain

ROUNDUP, Mont. (AP) — Traffic got a little busier along Main Street, but otherwise, it was hard to tell that coronavirus restrictions were ending in the tiny Montana town of Roundup.

That’s because it's largely business as usual in the town of 1,800 people. Nonessential stores could reopen as a statewide shutdown ended this week, but most shops in Roundup — the pharmacy, the hardware store, two small grocers — were essential and never closed.