Broadwater County Health Board held their official meeting on June 19th 2020 to discuss health issues the people are facing in the county. The Covid-19 virus is taking headlines across America causing local officials to curtail events based on guidelines established by Montana Governor Steve Bullock.
Commissioner Delger and Commissioner Folkvord both voiced their concerns regarding the request from the fair board to move forward with the annual event.
Sheriff Wynn Meehan brought forward the “Guidelines suggested by the National Rodeo Association. The NRA is advising caution while providing an outline for holding a safe event with a personal responsibility clause in the guideline.
Sheriff Meehan advised the board members that his office is not in a position to infringe on the rights of the citizens. He also said he understands that the need to adjust the planning of the event is in order. Sheriff Meehan repeatedly stated he will not violate constitutional the rights of the citizens.
County Nurse Theresa Munson cited the current covid-19 statistics claiming there is no confirmed cases in Broadwater County but she is very cautious in opening the doors of Broadwater County to the outside.
County Health Officer Dr. Campbell stated he is okay with asking citizens if they are feeling alright but putting them on a list is not.
Members of the County Fair Board were present at the meeting hoping to get an official answer. Between the Fair and Rodeo there is planning already committed to, with a substantial funding commitment on the table.
The scheduling of the fair and rodeo are highly dependent upon commitments of entries for both contestants and the public.
The health board not having a concrete plan before them decided to table their decision on the matter. The board agreed to look at already established plans in other counties if possible. It was decided to revisit the issue and make a decision next Friday June 26th 2020.
Members of the health board agreed to a visit to the fair grounds, to get a hands on look at the facility in assessing the ability to comply with the guidelines set for social distancing. Saturday night rodeo is the night where participation will be a difficult challenge to be considered with possible limits on public participation.
The locally sponsored Walleye tournament is also on the table before the health board awaiting approval. The plan for following the covid-19 guidelines is in the process but no decision was made by the health board to proceed.