First responders to receive advance notice of potential COVID-19 exposure

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

HELENA – First responders will get notified in advance of potential COVID-19 exposure when they respond to calls, to ensure they can take appropriate measures to protect themselves while performing their duties.

“Montanans across the state have been relying on first responders and we’re incredibly grateful for everything they’ve done to fight this virus on the frontlines,” Bullock said. “Today’s measure will provide the information first responders need to safely do their jobs during this emergency and ensure they can take appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their families, and limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Bullock's directive, issued April 7, provides clarification needed to notify law enforcement, firefighters, emergency care providers, corrections officers, or ambulance service attendants to be notified, when possible, before contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. There is already an established protocol for notifying first responders after they’ve come into contact with someone who has been exposed.

If prior notification is not possible, the directive instructs state and local public health officials conducting investigations related to COVID-19 to prioritize notifying first responders who came into contact with the infected patient.