Montana State University Extension is offering a free webinar, “Solid
Finances: COVID-19: Financial Issues for
Consumers,”<https://msuextensionconnect.org/sf> from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday,
Those wishing to participate are asked to login a few minutes early so as to
download a free version of Adobe Connect, which is necessary to view the webinar.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant impact to the U.S. economy in the past
few weeks. Family finances have been and will likely continue to be impacted. The
webinar will examine three main topics:
* Federal stimulus legislation that impacts consumers.
* Resources for dealing with job loss or income reductions.
* Protecting yourself from financial scams.
The session will be presented by MSU Extension’s Joel Schumacher, family and
consumer sciences state program leader, and North Dakota State University’s Carrie
Johnson, assistant professor and personal and family finance specialist.
A list of consumer resources related to this
is available online from MSU Extension. A library of more than 60 recordings of past
Solid Finances webinars<http://solidfinances.msuextension.org/pastrecordings.html>
is also available for the public to view at any time.
Pondera County Courthouse, Health Department Move to Limited Access Only - Call (406) 271-4000 for Information
CITY OF CONRAD COVID9 RESPONSE
March 20, 2020
Dear Citizens of Conrad,
In consideration of the health and safety of our community and in response to the recent directives by Governor Bullock, the City of Conrad has signed a Declaration of Emergency. This Declaration not only directs our community to do our part to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 outbreak, it also allows our community businesses and their employees access to Federal and/or State assistance programs that may become available.
Along with the Declaration, the City of Conrad will enact the following Emergency procedures until further notice:
1.) City Hall will be closed to public access. City Office Staff will be at City Hall and available by phone 406-271-3623 or email for any questions during normal business hours 8:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday. Cash, check or money order Utility payments can be made via mail or drop box located at City Hall, please ensure service address and name are included with all payments. Credit or debit card payments can be made by calling city hall or online via City website. www.cityofconradmt.com
2.) Conrad Public Library will be closed to public access. The library will be available by phone at 406-271-5751 and will be offering limited services which can be found on their website at www.conradlibrary.com
3.) Public Works Department will continue their operations. IMPORTANT REMINDER: Due to the shortage of Toilet Paper, customers are reminded that paper towels, napkins, sanitary wipes etc. are NOT to be flushed. Please dispose of those items in your trash. The City Shop can be reached at 406-271-5821 with questions during normal business hours of 7:00am-3:30pm Monday through Friday. For afterhours emergencies, please call dispatch at 406-271-5723.
4.) Police Department will continue their operations. You can call the City office 406-271-3623 for questions during normal city business hours. For any other assistance or emergency, please call 911 or dispatch at 406-271-5723.
5.) City Court will continue their operations. Court fines can be placed in City Drop box. City Judge will be available by phone at City Hall 406-271-3623 during normal business hours.
6.) City Fire Department will continue their operations as normal.
We will continue to keep the public updated as more information becomes available. I encourage you to keep informed of what’s going on in your community through the City of Conrad website, the Chamber of Commerce website and Chamber Facebook page. Thank you all for your patience, understanding and resiliency during these challenging times. I continue to be proud of the community I serve and will continue to do my best to keep our community vibrant, healthy and safe. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Wendy Judisch, Mayor
City of Conrad
Governor Bullock Confirms Two Positive Cases of Coronavirus in Montana
Governor Steve Bullock confirmed two additional positive cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Montana.
The tests, conducted by the DPHHS Public Health Laboratory, were confirmed Wednesday evening.
Today’s additional cases brings Montana’s total number of cases to 12. A case announced Wednesday morning for a male in their 20s from Gallatin County will be classified as a New Hampshire case after it was determined the patient is a resident there.
State and local public health laboratories are no longer required to send “presumptive positive” samples to CDC for confirmation. From now on, respiratory samples positive for SARS-CoV2 in a state and public-health laboratory will be considered “positive” with no need for further testing.
DPHHS and the local county health departments are immediately following up to learn more details about the two individual’s exposure risk, travel history, and to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been in close contact with the patients.
All patients will be isolated or quarantined pursuant to public health guidelines. Those who came into close contact with the individuals will be monitored for 14 days for fever and respiratory symptoms per CDC guidance.
The number of tests performed are updated daily here: https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusmt
Agricultural Producers Encouraged to Visit Farmers.Gov for Updates on Services in Their Community
As proactive health measures are put in effect nationwide to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the USDA is taking measures to ensure the safety of its employees and customers. As a result, access to certain facilities may be limited while remaining open for business. All service center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other service center agency are encouraged to call their service center to confirm availability for in-person or phone appointments before visiting. Producers can find their service center’s phone number at farmers.gov/service-center-locator. Agricultural producers should visit farmers.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on available services and the latest status of service centers impacted by these locally-specific health measures.
At this time FWP is keeping its front office license sales and application services open to the public. We strongly encourage people to purchase and apply for licenses online at FWP.MT.GOV. Please call me at 406-370-0077 with any questions.
Governor Steve Bullock expanded access to telemedicine services to ensure Montana Medicaid patients receive quality health care in their homes to prevent unnecessary gatherings at health care facilities and slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Expanding telemedicine will provide the physical, mental, and substance use care Montanans need without overwhelming health care facilities responding to COVID-19 or risking unnecessary exposure,” Governor Bullock said. “I want to thank providers across the state who are not only on the frontlines preparing for and treating patients with COVID-19 but are making sure all patients have safe options to receive quality care.”
On a call with the Montana Hospital Association, the Montana Medical Association, and the Montana Primary Care Association, Governor Bullock announced several measures that will go into effect on Friday, March 20, including a policy to allow patients and providers to communicate via telephone or through secure online communications. The existing policy only allows telemedicine through video chat and leaves out Montanans who might not have access to video chat capabilities through laptops and smartphones.
Governor Bullock also announced he will eliminate language that prevents Medicaid for paying for telemedicine services if that patient and provider are located in the same community. A requirement that members should establish face-to-face relationships with primary care providers will also be waived.
Governor Bullock is encouraging private insurance providers to enact the same policies for their customers.
Yesterday Governor Bullock announced a plan to pay for COVID-19 tests and treatment for uninsured Montanans. State funds and potentially federal funds will be used to pay for testing and treatment beginning on March 23. To access this emergency assistance Montanans can call 406-444-7605 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor Steve Bullock announced emergency rules to make unemployment benefits accessible to workers laid off due to COVID-19 and waive the typical one week waiting period before receiving benefits.
“The rules we’ve implemented today will ensure that workers impacted by COVID-19, whether it’s because they’ve been laid off, are quarantined, or need to take care of a family member, can do so without worrying about how they will make ends meet during these difficult times,” Governor Bullock said. “We will continue to do everything we can to support workers and businesses as we begin to fully understand the impacts of COVID-19 in Montana.”
The United States Department of Labor approved a request from the Montana Department of Labor & Industry to support workers financially impacted by COVID-19. The rules filed today with the Secretary of State’s office will go into effect immediately.
The rules allow a claimant directed by their employer to leave work or not report to work due to COVID-19 to qualify as being temporarily laid off by the employer and eligible for benefits. Workers who must quarantine or who need to take care of a family member due to COVID-19 are also considered temporarily laid off and eligible for benefits.
Additionally, the emergency rules allow DLI to waive the one week waiting period before typically receiving benefits to ensure Montanans don’t experience a long gap without a paycheck.
Montana employers will also receive help through these rules. Individual claims will not be chargeable to a specific employer’s account. The rules also include a provision that could extend the time employers have to file wage reports and pay unemployment insurance contributions if the delay is related to COVID-19.
Claimants are responsible for staying in contact with their employer and return to work when they have the opportunity. Claimants are not eligible for benefits if they could work from home but choose not to.
People who think they are eligible for these benefits can apply for benefits online at: montanaworks.gov or contact the Unemployment Insurance Division over the phone at for UI benefits online or over the phone at: (406) 444-2545.
President Trump announces northern border closed to non-essential travel
Import/Export will not be affected