The Missoula City County Health Department has expanded restrictions to more local businesses due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Health Officer Ellen Leahy provided these details.

“Today we added cosmetology, hair and beauty salons, body art and massage, unless it’s associated with physical therapy of chiropractic practice,” said Leahy. “The reason is because there’s just so much close contact and it’s not possible to protect either the providers or the people receiving those services from the spread.”

Leahy said the reason for the added restrictions was because Missoula County now has six confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

“We only have six positive tests, but in a context in which we don’t have the full testing capabilities that we need to have,” she said. “It’s improving, but it’s not there yet, so with positive tests coming in and another county with similar demographics that very quickly went to community-widespread with a number of positive tests then it’s very important that we keep moving forward in terms of putting closures and social distancing in place.”

Leahy said she has placed an end date of April 15, but that could change with Governor Bullock set to make his own announcements later on Tuesday afternoon.

“Our regulations are for Missoula County, but, of course his will be statewide,” she said. “When the governor comes out with something stricter, then the governor’s order prevails, but at any point if the state directive is not stricter then the local order will stand.”

Leahy said each county must determine its own directives based on its population and the risk of COVID 19 infection.

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