Managing COVID-19 in Gallatin County; A Look Behind the Scenes

Posted on June 15, 2020 by Kali Gillette

When Governor Bullock announced the shelter in place directive on March 26, 2020 in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19, Gallatin County was already ahead of the game. Gallatin County Health Department, led by Health Officer Matt Kelley, had been watching the pandemic unfold beginning in December and had formed an incident command system within the Health Department to address the coming spread of the virus in our community.

Mid-March the first case arrived. Kelley took a look at what agencies were likely to be involved if the situation escalated. Realizing the Health Department didn’t have the capacity to sustain the operation themselves, he brought in other public safety agencies and formed a Gallatin County Incident Command System Structure.

Patrick Lonergan, Chief of Emergency Management and Fire became the Incident Commander for Gallatin County’s COVID-19 response and together, they sketched out what functions they would need to manage the situation. First, they looked at what positions the Health Department currently had, and where they would need more help. “If it turned into a situation where the hospital became overwhelmed or needed to move patients around, we would need a lot of additional players,” Lonergan explained.

There were a variety of duties to manage. A comprehensive group of local agency partners including, but not limited to, the City of Bozeman, Gallatin County and Gallatin City-County Health Department formed a joint communication infrastructure to educate and inform the public. Public safety agencies such as law enforcement, the fire department and coroner’s office all played a role in planning. Once the team was in place, they began a daily planning cycle, starting with a 7:30 a.m. call to create a 24-hour incident action plan.

Logistics such as sourcing and hands-on delivery of equipment and supplies needed to be coordinated. Operationally, the Health Department needed help managing quarantine, isolation and contact tracing. Simultaneously, larger entities such as Bozeman Health, the City of Bozeman and Montana State University all had internal structures in place. Gallatin County Incident Command assumed responsibility for the coordination of the incident to be sure everyone was on the same page and moving in the same direction.

Planning moved along at this pace for the next 60 days. Gallatin County residents took the directive seriously and did their part by diligently staying home and actively social distancing. And then, the curve started to flatten. The social action worked.

While the shelter in place directive was successful, it wasn’t sustainable forever. “People have to go to work at some point,” Lonergan said. He goes on to explain, “I think everybody recognizes that the virus didn’t disappear when we shut down our communities, but it was a lot harder for it to move around. As people start moving around more and the tourist season starts, there will be more transmission of COVID-19. We don’t know what that’s going to look like, but it’s obviously a concern.”

The group is now preparing for the summer season. “Bozeman and Big Sky have good infrastructure,” Lonergan said, “but West Yellowstone needs support, they don’t have a lot of medical infrastructure.” Plans are in the works to enhance their capacity to be able to adequately test people. “If someone comes through who is not feeling well or is symptomatic, we want to make it easy for them to get tested so if they do have COVID-19, they will know and can act appropriately,” says Lonergan. “Another concern is exposure to the workforce. We want it to be easy for workers to get tested and not spread it through the workforce.”

The system is set up to adjust with the demand. For example, the county has also secured hotel rooms in West Yellowstone in the event travelers or workers need them. While we’re not out of the woods with COVID-19, Gallatin County is in a relatively good spot, given the coordinated efforts behind the scenes. Asked what advice he would impart to residents and visitors, Lonergan replied, “It’s important to take it seriously. Keep social distancing and taking health precautions such as washing your hands frequently and not touching your face. And if you think you’re sick, get tested, and stay home.”

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Categories: Southwest Montana

Meet the Artist: James Weikert

Posted on September 27, 2018 by amys

Event Details:

Join us in celebrating James Weikert's art which has been created from with memories of his explorations; snapshots of static landscapes converted into living, moving compositions. Enjoy light libations and appetizers and explore our Bozeman office all at once!

Date & Time:

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 from 4 - 6 PM

Hosted by Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty - Bozeman and Tory Cyr, Broker

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Categories: Bozeman Events

MSU Homecoming Tailgate!

Posted on September 27, 2018 by amys

Event Details:

Join us for a taco bar and a Bloody Mary before the Bobcat Homecoming game, we will be here to support you in supporting the Bobcats! Park at Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty (located just south of Sola Cafe).

Date & Time:

October 13th, 2018 from 10:30 AM -1:00 PM

Hosted by Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty - Bozeman and First American Title Company

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Tags: Bozeman, MSU
Categories: Bozeman Events

Neighborhood Profile - Bridger Creek Subdivision, Bozeman

Posted on December 28, 2017 by calliep

BRIDGER CREEK SUBDIVISION 
Bozeman, Montana

Built along the Bridger Creek Golf Course, the Bridger Creek Subdivision offers a mix of single family homes, townhomes, and condominiums. Each winter, the 18-hole public golf course is turned into an extensive, groomed cross country ski trail - allowing for Nordic skiing right out your back door! Located only 20 minutes from the Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Bridger Creek is the perfect neighborhood for those who love to ski and golf.

TRAIL ACCESS

The "M" Trail
Popular hiking and mountain biking trail located a little over three miles from the subdivision.

Story Hills Trail
Single-track mountain biking, running, and hiking trail located two miles away.

Sypes Canyon Trail
Hiking and mountain biking trail located four miles away. 

2017 MARKET STATISTICS

Average Sale Price: $388,850

Median Sale Price: $370,000

Average Days on Market: 32

Average Price per Square Foot: $170.80

Golf shot Bridger Creek

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Neighborhood Highlight - Triple Tree Ranch

Posted on October 26, 2017 by calliep

 

Triple Tree is an exclusive community located in the Southside of Bozeman. With large one to three acre lots and expansive mountain views, the custom homes in this neighborhood are some of the most desirable in town. There is a focus on open space, evoking the feeling living on a ranch while only being minutes from Downtown. Bordering state land provides easy access to popular nordic, hiking and biking trail systems.

 

TRAIL ACCESS

  • Triple Tree Trail: Hiking and mountain biking trail located within the subdivision.
  • Sourdough Trail: Hiking, mountain biking and groomed cross country ski trail located less than two miles away.
  • Main Street to the Mountains: Trail system linking over 80 miles of trails throughout town. Access point located less than two miles from Triple Tree.

 

2017 MARKET STATISTICSTriple Tree Ranch

Average Sale Price: $1,376,000

Median Sale Price: $1,470,000

Average Days on Market: 172

Average Price/Square Foot: $215.34

 

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