Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By News Release
State of Montana 



September 17, 2020

Gov. Steve Bullock announced outbreak response protocols for Montana’s K-12 schools Thursday, sept. 10.

The protocols include information on COVID-19 symptoms, when to call for emergency care, determining close contacts, when to quarantine, isolate and recommend testing, and when to allow, screening symptomatic students and staff for testing or isolation, and guidance on athletics and extracurricular activities.

The protocol are based on an outbreak response plan developed by Rhode Island and includes best practices from the CDC and other groups to provide high level guidance for schools.

“The Outbreak Response Protocols provides guidance requested by school nurses and other education advocates to ensure K-12 schools are responding to COVID-19 consistently and taking measures backed by science,” Bullock said. “By following these protocols in consultation with local public health, our schools can properly quarantine, recommend testing, and take other measures to minimize the spread and keeps kids healthy while preserving in person learning for the students and families who depend on it.” 

The document includes protocols for cases with symptoms that are not suspected to be COVID-19, suspected COVID-19 cases, confirmed COVID-19 cases and close contacts.

For students in athletics and extracurriculars, the guidance recommends hand sanitizing, face coverings when appropriate and prioritizing activities where physical distancing can be maintained. It also recommends minimizing travel, keeping practices or events small and sanitization of equipment and frequently touched surfaces.

An athlete who tests positive should be cleared by a healthcare provider before resuming participation. Schools should have plans in place for isolation, treatment, and appropriate transportation for a visiting traveling athlete, extracurricular activity participant, or staff who develops COVID-19 symptoms.

The full plan can be found online at


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