Powder River Examiner -

Coronavirus Closures Expand


March 26, 2020

Update, 4/3/20

The Powder River Stockman's Club is now closed.

Boot & Tack is no longer going to be open on Saturdays (starting April 2020) for the time being. Regular store hours still apply Mon – Fri for carry out orders only.

As the COVID-19, or novel coronavirus expands across the country, local businesses and government entities continue to respond to the menace.

As of Thursday evening, Montana had 90 cases of coronavirus, with 24 of those from Gallatin County, where community spread has become evident. Yellowstone County had 14 cases. At that time, Montana had 7 hospitalizations from the illness, and one death.

For an up to date list of Montana infections, visit:


In other areas nearby, Sheridan County, Wyoming had four cases, Campbell County, Wyoming one case, and Pennington County, South Dakota, one fatal case. A caregiver at Monument Health in Rapid City has also tested positive. She reportedly had contact with 112 individuals around the health care facility.

Also on Thursday, Governor Steve Bullock issued a shelter in place directive, effective 12:01 AM Saturday. The directive asks Montanans to stay home to maximum extent possible except for essential activities, and temporarily restricts all nonessential businesses and operations. Folks may still go out to shop for groceries and attain other necessary supplies.

Here is a link to the Governor's full directive:


Here's the list of the jobs considered essential:


Locally, county officials have expanded the scope of closures.

On March 18th, Powder River County Commissioners issued an emergency proclamation to free up funds in helping to deal with the onset and spread of coronavirus.

On Monday, March 23rd, the Commissioners issued a resolution which moved the county to an essential employee only format, and effectively locked down the courthouse. County employees will still man the offices, but work will now be done over the phone, via the postal system, or through email. Lockboxes will be made available outside the courthouse in order to drop off paperwork. The Clerk & Recorder's lockbox is located on the south doors of the courthouse. More information about the options available through the Clerk & Recorder's office may be found on page 6.

Additional county closures include the Community Center, Multi-Purpose Building, and Fairgrounds, in order to comply with guidance to limit crowd size.

Henry Malley Memorial Library also closed its doors last week, with staff still on duty to provide services such as curbside delivery of books. Wifi is available outside the library.

Town offices have undergone lock down procedures similar to the county. At the USDA Service Center, the doors are locked, but offices are still staffed, with work being done by phone or email.

When asked about how the courthouse closure will affect open meeting laws, Commissioner Lee Randall replied that the commissioner's phone line will still be open for residents to call in and voice their opinions – where the option exists to participate in meetings via conference call. Appointments may be set up for the public to meet, though crowd size will be limited. Randall says the commissioners will do their best to keep the public informed.

A full list of closures and cancellations of businesses and events in the local area, current as of Thursday, may be found at the bottom of this page.

Other major changes which affect Montanans include an extension of the federal and state tax filing deadline from April 15th to July 15th, as well as an extension on the REAL ID requirements to board domestic flights, which were set to go into effect on October 1. The US Census Bureau has also paused its work counting the populace of the country.

In order to keep informed about the virus, keep in mind there is a lot of incorrect or borderline dangerous information out there on the internet with regards to coronavirus. Be extremely wary of memes or videos from questionable sources. One of the best sources for all things coronavirus is the CDC, the US Federal Government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html . For statewide information, consult the Montana DPHHS, at https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusmt .

Follow the guidelines printed in large, friendly letters on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: DON'T PANIC. Show empathy for one another during this stressful time - we are all in this together. Perhaps most importantly of all, follow the words of Abraham Lincoln, in his famous speech from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, "Be excellent to each other."

Closures as of Thursday, March 26, 9:21 AM

The school system closure has been extended by the Governor until April 10th.

The closure of restaurants, bars, and other gathering spots where 10 or more people congregate has been extended by Governor Bullock until April 10th.

Broadus IGA is offering curbside delivery. Hours especially for elderly or high risk customers: 7-9 AM. Otherwise the hours at the IGA and Pharmacy remain the same. Please pay with credit or debit if available – cleaner than cash. The store is well stocked, as of Tuesday.

Broadus Schools associated activities, sports, prom, etc., have been cancelled or postponed.

Amanda Gaskill Memorial Basketball Tournament has been cancelled.

Weight room and open gym closed.

The Senior Center will be closed for two weeks, and congregate meals will also be cancelled for two weeks. Commodities may be picked up by appointment.

Those who are seeking help with staying fed are encouraged to call Powder River Health, where they will be provided with meals on wheels regardless of the ability to pay.

Storytime has been suspended at Henry Malley Memorial Library for two weeks.

The PR Extension Office exercise classes have been suspended for two weeks.

The VFW Ladies Auxiliary St. Patrick's Day Luncheon has been postponed.

March Madness Final Four Calcutta at the MT Bar cancelled.

The Powder River Manor has suspended all visitations.

Powder River Physical and Occupational therapies will screen via phone while making an appointment to be seen. If possible, clients will be re-scheduled at a later time. Clients exhibiting signs or symptoms may be referred to Family Medical Clinic or Home Health Assessments for additional screening, testing or care.

Powder River Family Medical Clinic asks that prior to coming to the clinic, please call and complete a screening.

The Annual Powder River Health Fair, originally scheduled for Thursday, April 23, has been rescheduled to June 11th.

Henry Malley Memorial Library is closed to the public. The library staff is still on duty during normal operational hours and able to provide services. Curbside and home delivery of books will be available. The Wifi is still on and available 24 hours a day in the vicinity of the library.

1st Bank's lobby is now closed. The drive-up window will remain open, with hours extended to 8 AM until 6pm.

The Congregational Church has cancelled services for the month of March.

The Lutheran Church has cancelled services for the month of March.

The Teddy Roosevelt Impersonator shows are cancelled at this time, with hope to reschedule at an undetermined future time.

The Broadus Boot and Tack is now open for carry out only. Feed orders and products from the store are still available.

Bella Si Salon is closed until April 1.

Schaffer PEMF Therapy at Bella Si is closed until April 1.

IOIA will be closed until further notice.

Broadus Insurance is limiting foot traffic, but still in the office.

KB Diesel Worx is closed to foot traffic, but still working.

Powder River Taxidermy is closed but available by phone for issues with FWP licensing.

Silver Sage Clothing is closed until further notice.

Powder River Petals is closed.

Drivers' Examiner at the courthouse every first and fourth Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open by appointment.

Here are the local eating and drinking establishments establishments affected by the executive order.

The Big Sky Bar will be open during normal business hours, offering a full menu for take-out, and off sale alcohol. Please call ahead if ordering after 8 pm.

The Powder River Stockman's Club will be offering take-out and delivery.

Seabeck Pizza will be offering take-out, as well as their bake at home pizzas.

Powder River Lanes is closed completely, re-opening May 18.

The Cashway Café will be offering take-out.

The Montana Bar will have their doors locked, but will be offering packaged liquors and take-out, available by phone.

Western Chick is now closed. The Boutique/Retail goods are still available online.

Best bet if looking for the status of a business is to call ahead. This data is all subject to change, and we will try to update the list if we learn of more closures. If you know of any other closures not on the list, please shoot us an email or call 436-2244.  ~ The Management.


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