Local COVID-19 testing from page 1


By Brad Black, MD, Lincoln County Health Officer


Whether ill or without symptoms, people interested in having a  COVID-19 screening test can schedule a test time by calling the info line at 293-6295. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law in March, 2020 mandates that all persons will have free screening. If you are concerned about your insurance covering the test or you are uninsured, call (406) 444-7605 for assistance.

What are the instructions after having a throat swab taken?

If you are ill or may have had direct contact with a person having a known COVID 19 infection, then you must remain in self-isolation pending test results (2-3 days).

If you are healthy and have no known contact with an infected person then you may return to work or regular activity while awaiting test results.

This first round of testing will provide some idea as to the prevalence of COVID-19 in Lincoln County. However, most importantly we can isolate those that have COVID-19 infections and aggressively trace their contacts for quarantine and subsequent testing. This activity informs us about the level of spread and if done quickly and extensively, tracing and tracking along with varied forms of physical distancing have been shown to significantly slow viral spread.

The challenge is to continue to test monthly at the same (1,300 tests/month) level well into the future. It will require the cooperation of everyone, both ill and well, to make sure we can maintain effective COVID-19 surveillance through testing.

Keeping a control on the spread of the coronavirus will allow us to continue moving forward allowing businesses to stay open and the economy to recover and make another painful shutdown unlikely.

Please call to participate in COVID-19 testing – do it for all of us and we’ll work to keep the community as updated as possible too.

Libby Chamber’s letter to our


Since COVID-19’s initial impact on our community, the Libby Area Chamber has watched Libby respond with an overwhelming commitment to ensuring safety and health as we work through this unprecedented journey. Libby has banded together and adapted to the current situation through home deliveries, curb-side pick-up, virtual meetings and fitness classes, school assisted home-schooling, and more. The strength shown is a true representation of Libby’s character and is what will keep Libby moving forward.

We would like to thank our community for supporting the local businesses during these times. We ask that you continue to do so as you remember all of the businesses who have supported your clubs, organizations, fundraisers, and events over the years.  If you are unsure how a business is dealing with the current situation, give them a call.  The local businesses, their employees and their families need your support now more than ever.

The Libby Area Chamber is committed to helping our members and our community​ navigate this economic storm. We will continue to do our best to provide updated and​ accurate information and resources. Visit our website ​ www.libbychamb ​ and sign up for our weekly e-newsletter to receive updates.

To our business community, we are here for you. Please reach out and let us know how we can assist in your efforts. Contact the Chamber at 293-4167 or info@libbycham

Submitted by, General Manager,


Coronavirus Relief Fund Task Force

Governor Steve Bullock announced  on Wednesday, April  15, the establishment of the Coronavirus Relief Fund Task Force to provide guidance and advice on how to best use $1.25 billion appropriated to Montana through the Federal CARES Act to assist workers, businesses, and sectors of the economy impacted by COVID-19.

The task force includes 26 Montanans and seeks to represent the industries and sectors impacted by COVID-19 including small business owners, agriculture, nonprofits, economic development organizations, financial institutions, and others.

Over the next two weeks, the task force will examine all sectors of the economy to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on Montanans and consider the unique needs of each region of the state and support a long-term path to economic recovery. Montana and other states are still waiting on federal guidance on how the $1.25 billion can be spent.

Montanans can provide input on where the funds are needed at: https://commerce \ and is also accessible through the website.




expanded for Montana Main Street Taverns for Coronavirus small business relief

U.S. Small Business Administration announced Wednesday April 15 that Montana’s main street taverns will be eligible for coronavirus relief programs.

Originally several tavern owners were deemed ineligible because of the amount they bring in revenue from gaming machines.  But now those will be included in the  main street taverns in relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program.

Taverns that make one third of their income from gaming will now qualify as long as the profit from gaming is less than 50 percent of their total revenue and does not exceed $1 million.



$10 Million for Child Care

providers in


U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he secured $10 million in funding to support Montana child care providers keeping their doors open to serve the families of essential workers—funding that was originally left out of Senator Mitch McConnell’s COVID-19 response package.

The $10,113,887 is available through the Child Care and Development Block Grant program and will be distributed to child care providers by the State of Montana. Many child care providers are also small businesses, and this funding will help support these entities as they continue providing care to families across Montana.

Local public health statistics as of April 17:

Persons tested in Lincoln County    453

Persons with negative results                         417

Test results still pending                                   29

Persons with positive results                                   7

Recovered                                               6

Deaths                                                       1

Hospitalizations                                    1 statistics as of April 19:

Persons tested in Montana 10,898

Persons with positive results 433

Recovered 243

Active Hospitalizations 18

Deaths 10


World Health Organization statistics as of April 18:

U.S. cases 695,353

U.S. Deaths 32,427

Worldwide cases 2,245,872

Worldwide deaths 152,707


Other Resources:

Lincoln County COVID-19 information hotline 293-6295 daily  8 a.m.– 5 p.m.

Montana suicide prevention life line 800-273-TALK (8255)

Montana Crisis Text Line Text “MT” to 741741 anytime