City Commissioner, Terry Cunningham, is back with even more tips for keeping our cool and staying healthy as Montana begins it's re-opening process this Sunday.

Daily Update / Tip: As we gradually re-open as a community, please keep in mind that the basic advice from health care experts hasn’t changed: stay 6 feet away from others, minimize your contact as much as possible, wash your hands frequently, if you’re sick, call your doctor. We are still dealing with a highly contagious virus that is a deadly threat, particularly to at-risk populations. Think of it this way: you’re still using the same precautions, you’re just going to do so in more places now.

FAQ: Q: How can I help make this gradual transition a success in Gallatin County? A: Recognize that you have a key role in keeping the virus at bay, so don’t shift that burden to others. If you show up at a restaurant and a crowd is starting to gather, find another place to eat. Don’t bring your children to your hairstyling appointment. Wear a mask if you’re a public-facing employee. Keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. When you see friends in a bookstore, don’t shake their hand or hug them. Stay a couple of steps away from the cashier at the convenience store. My job, and your job, is to keep one another safe.

Pulling Together: In preparation for a gradual re-opening, local businesses from a variety of sectors participated in focus group interviews with Health Department and Incident Command staff to develop plans for keeping the community safe. Business owners contributed innovative ideas and were receptive to the ideas presented by their peers. They recognize that our best hope for a continued, sustainable re-opening is a phased approach that takes a pause before loosening any more restrictions. Hats off to them for their active participation in these planning meetings.

What Can I Do? If you are in an at-risk groups, continue to stay at home as much as possible. Seniors, those with ongoing health conditions – diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, etc. – and people with compromised immune systems are at particular risk for developing more severe symptoms. There is risk of a spike in transmission as the stay-at-home restrictions are eased in our community. Keeping your contact with others to a minimum may save your life.