COVID-19 Tips for Bozeman: Graduates, Take Out and What About Yellowstone?
Eating out is different. Graduation is another level different. How we open Yellowstone Park will also be different. City Commissioner, Terry Cunnningham, gives his take on all of it.
Daily Update / Tip: Montanans have done a good job limiting the spread of Covid-19 in our state by adhering to the Governor’s stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines. Montana has the second fewest confirmed cases in the nation and Gallatin County went two weeks without a new case being reported. One of the challenges of a gradual nationwide re-opening is that there will be more movement of people between states, which means that Montanans may be traveling to states with a much higher incidence of Covid19 cases, and people from other states – where Covid-19 is more prevalent - may be traveling to Montana. This is why there is a 14-day quarantine for people coming to Montana from other states for non-essential travel. If you travel to another state and return to Montana, you’re required to abide by the same 14-day quarantine rules.
FAQ: Q: What are some of the challenges associated with re-opening Yellowstone Park? A: Yellowstone Park faces unique challenges when they consider how and when to allow employees and visitors back into the park. Park employees typically live in close quarters where social distancing would not be possible using normal housing configurations. Reconfiguring housing accommodations – and hiring fewer staff members – is essential in order to protect park employees. Many of Yellowstone’s attractions – such as Old Faithful – involve closely-packed seating and standing accommodations. Reconfiguring these venues to allow for proper spacing will take careful planning. Handling a constant stream of vehicle traffic through manned access points – and foot traffic in visitor’s centers - will require creative solutions as well. When the park opens, the Yellowstone experience is likely to be quite different from what we’re accustomed to.
Pulling Together: The 2020 high school graduating class has experienced one of the strangest academic years in recent memory. Remote learning. Sports and clubs cancelled. Not being able to hang out with your classmates. As we approach graduation, the Bozeman School District and the Bozeman High School Parents Advisory Council (PAC) are putting a great deal of thought into how to make graduation special for the class of 2020. You can see yard signs adorning the yards of this year’s graduates – a project spearheaded by the PAC – calling out the fact that a member of the BHS 2020 graduating class lives here. We expect additional imaginative ways of celebrating our graduates to be announced shortly.
What Can I Do? Patronize local establishments in a responsible way. Many restaurants are re-opening under much different service protocols than we’re used to. Maintaining a strong take-out service is very important to your favorite restaurants because they have to offset lost revenue from fewer tables and lack of bar counter space. Make a point, if you’re able, to support our small business owners by ordering food to take-away. And if you’re ordering from Montana Ale Works, try the schnitzel and Taos dip (pictured); it’s a great combo!