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December 16, 2020 9:41 AM

Whitefish City Councilors Pass COVID Resolution

WHITEFISH CITY COUNCILORS PASS COVID RESOLUTION Resolution 20-44 urges individuals to follow health guidelines and supports local Task Force messaging

Resolution 20-44 urges individuals to follow health guidelines and supports local Task Force messaging

WHITEFISH, MONT. (Dec. 15, 2020) -- On Monday, December 14th, Whitefish City Council voted in favor of passing Resolution 20-44. The resolution urges individuals to follow public health guidance from both the Flathead City-County Health Department and state directives from Governor Bullock. The resolution also expresses support for the Whitefish COVID-19 Task Force and 'Friend of The Fish' Pledge. "We must stay safe throughout the holidays and continue our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19," comments City Manager Dana Smith, "In passing this resolution, the City of Whitefish continues to distribute a unified message of encouraging its citizens and visitors to do the right thing by following current health directives."

In accordance with current health directives and recommendations, the city urges individuals to stay home when sick unless seeking medical care, wear a face covering when visiting indoor spaces open to the public, limit public gatherings to no more than 25 people, preferably no more than 15 people in situations where social distancing is impossible to maintain, and continue to practice proper hand washing. Governor Bullock's recent directive does not alter the existing requirements for schools and places of worship. However, the city encourages places of worship to strongly consider the use of virtual services if social distancing is not possible or maintained. "We have to stay diligent to protect our vulnerable population. Though we are all fatigued at this point, now is the time to step up to make sure everyone is there when we get to gather again." advises Smith.

The Governor's latest directive includes reduced capacity limits of 50% and closure no later than 10:00 p.m. for restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos. Face coverings are also required for all counties regardless of active cases while visiting indoor spaces open to the public. Further messaging is being distributed by the Whitefish Covid-19 Task Force across the city to remind citizens and visitors of this mandate.

The task force has also focused its latest efforts on encouraging residents to reimagine their holiday traditions by keeping gatherings to household members and utilizing virtual means of connecting. The intent is to ensure local healthcare systems are not pressured beyond capacity.

The resolution asks residents, visitors, and businesses to take the pledge to 'Be a Friend of The Fish,' stating their commitment to following local health guidelines such as wearing a mask and physical distancing. The pledge is live at Prizes are being awarded to randomly selected pledgees, which include gift cards to Whitefish businesses.

The resolution also stated the city's partnership with the Whitefish School District, North Valley Hospital, and the Whitefish Convention & Visitors Bureau to fund the messaging campaign of the Whitefish COVID-19 Task Force. City funding will occur through the local government reimbursement program funded by the State of Montana through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

As of December 15, 2020, the State of Montana reported a total of 8,061 cumulative cases in Flathead County and the confirmed death of 44 Flathead County residents due to complications from COVID-19. According to the local dashboard from the Flathead City-County Health Department, there were 23 active hospitalizations as of December 11, 2020.

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