It's a big day in the Montana reopening Phase 1 stage with gyms allowed to open with restrictions. So what does that mean, exactly?

City Commissioner, Terry Cunningham, has more good information and food for thought as we continue to navigate the reopening of area businesses.

Daily Update / Tip: On May 15th, health clubs, gyms, certain pools and movie theaters have been given the green light to open – with specified safeguards and restrictions – by the Gallatin City-County Board of Health. However, it’s recommended that you call the establishment or visit their website in advance to learn the specifics. For instance, while you can work out with a personal trainer on a one-on-one basis, your gym will not be allowed to hold group classes like Zumba or spinning classes indoors. Having lots of people in in close proximity, sweating, moving and breathing heavily in an indoor room is not recommended during phase #1. Similarly, indoor yoga classes are not approved yet. Your best bet is to learn what specific services your gym or pool are offering as part of the phase #1 re-opening.

FAQ: Q: Is a buff – or neck gaiter – useful to wear as a mask? A: Kinda. Kinda not. The typical buff is made of thin, stretchy polyester material. While its elasticity allows for a tight form-fit around the mouth and nose, the thin material is not a particularly good filter. If you hold it up to the light, you’ll see how permeable it is. The CDC recommends cloth masks made of material like cotton, which is thicker and therefore less permeable. In a pinch, folding and doubling up your buff can be somewhat useful, and is certainly better than nothing, but don’t expect the same kind of protection – for yourself and others – than you’d get from a properly-fitting cotton mask.

Pulling Together: Did you know that the Bozeman Public Library has over 34,000 books, videos and other materials in the community right now as a result of the building closure? Starting May 15th, you can return library materials each Friday from 9am to 4pm. Use the library’s front entrance and drop your books in the quarantine tables in the large meeting room so they can be disinfected and placed back into circulation. Starting on May 18th, you can order books for curbside pickup from Mon-Thurs, 12n – 6pm. To order a book, just use the online catalog at bozemanlibrary.org or call (406) 582-2410. Follow the instructions you receive when you place your book order to arrange a zero-contact pick-up.

What Can I Do? Take personal responsibility for your actions during the gradual re-opening so we can keep one another safe. If you’re at the health club, disinfect the weight machine, treadmill or stair machine before and after you use it. Give fellow pedestrians plenty of room to pass on the sidewalk. Try your best to work from home when you’re able. Wear a mask when you visit the grocery store. Stay home when you’re sick. We live in a state that values individual rights and freedoms, so our municipalities, Boards of Health and business managers don’t take a heavy-handed approach to enforcement. They respect you enough to believe that if you’re given the proper information, you’ll do the right thing, and you’ll realize that your decisions and actions impact others.