Oklahoma, Montana Governors Announce Plans to Reopen

April 22, 2020 Updated: April 22, 2020

The governors of Montana and Oklahoma on Wednesday announced their respective plans for reopening the economy.

Montana’s stay-at-home order will be lifted starting Sunday, said Gov. Steve Bullock, who said that residents should still adhere to social distancing measures.

“There are very few states in the country that can say they have seen the number of positive cases decline over these past weeks. Montana can say that because, together, we have made that decline in cases possible,” Bullock told reporters in announcing the gradual, phased reopening of the state. Some businesses can reopen on Monday, he said.

“While there is reason for optimism this is not a time for celebration. I am going to ask Montanans to continue to go to great lengths to protect one another, to continue looking out for our neighbors who need it the most, and to continue being vigilant in every step we take,” he said.

Gyms, pools, hot tubs, movie theaters, performance theaters, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and music halls will be closed for the time being, Bullock said, reported the Independent Record of Helena. Retail businesses can be opened at reduced capacity.

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People are tested for coronavirus at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) center in Dearborn, Michigan, on March 26, 2020. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)

No decision has been made on whether to keep schools shut down.

“It is up to the local school boards. But I would encourage you all to be creative in considering how you can honor your graduates, while minimizing, not eliminating the risk of the spread of the virus,” Bullock said, according to KTVQ.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said that hair salons, spas, pet groomers, and nail salons can open. Those businesses also have to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“Let me be clear, we will do this safely, responsibly and based on the data in our state,” Stitt said, reported The Oklahoman.

More businesses including restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and churches can open May 1, he said.