Montana’s Community Snapshot Testing Initiative: An Invitation to Businesses to Partner in an Early Warning System for Tourism and Gateway Communities
Building from surveillance testing efforts at long term care facilities, with Tribal Nations and with front-line health care workers, the State is pursuing more frequent and widespread COVID-19 testing in order to support businesses and the tourism sector as they reopen in Montana. The State, in concert with local public health officials, is actively recruiting partnerships with businesses in tourism destination areas to begin voluntary testing of employees who may have frequent interactions with nonresident travelers through the course of their work. The effort, known as Community Snapshot Testing, aims to develop an early warning system for a COVID-19 outbreak through one of the major risk factors facing the state—travel. This increase in testing will not only augment efforts to identify cases early and support COVID-19 response and mitigation measures, it will build a foundation that will better prepare businesses for possible increased exposure that may occur in the future.
Governor Bullock’s Reopening the Big Sky plan has relied on individuals and businesses to provide leadership in adopting measures to mitigate COVID-19 risks. As a result, Montana enjoys one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases in the nation, allowing for the state to proceed with reopening and welcoming back visitors who are critical to our economy. Just as the Governor has asked residents to support local businesses by offering them more than their patronage – he is also asking our state’s visitors to do all they can to respect the decisions Montana businesses make to protect themselves, their employees, and the public.