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COVID-19 Updates Relevant to the VSN / Timeline

*** 3/12/20 "Missoula Aging Services, "In person support groups, workshops and classes have been canceled for the time being" Available online:

*** 3/16/20 Missoula Housing Authority is open by appointment only Our staff listing is on our website:

​*** 3/16/20 Job Service Missoula - 2020 Career Fair CANCELED (2021 In-Person Career Fair scheduled for 10/7/21)

*** 3/16/20 Pathways – community updates, “Salvation Army is open & giving out food boxes and hygiene products as long as they have them.

  • The Poverello is still serving meals but are not allowing any volunteers in the building except in the kitchen. 

​​​*** 3/18/20 State of Montana ~ Joint Information Center:

State of Montana COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions:

*** 3/18/20 VA News, “Veterans: Call before visiting your VA facility: VA can make it easier and safer to get back to health with virtual care through My HealtheVet and the VA Video Connect app on your smartphone, tablet or computer:

​​*** 3/19/20 University of Montana, “steps the University is taking to prepare for and slow the spread of the pandemic:

​*** 3/19/20 Montana DPHHS, Office of Public Assistance, “Services are available to Montana residents on-line through or by telephone through the Public Assistance Help Line at 1-888-706-1535.

Montana Department of Public Health

OPA office emails:

​​*** ​​3/23/20 Job Service Missoula is OPEN via PHONE (406) 728-7060 & EMAIL (Job search, resume reviews, interviewing tips, etc.):
*** COVID-19 FAQ for employers and workers:

*** YOUTUBE: How to register in Montanaworks
*** YOUTUBE: How to start an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim

*** 3/24/20 VHA "partnerships support the social determinants of health that Veterans need during times of crisis"

*** 3/24/20 American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program, "TFA application procedures with the coronavirus"

*** 3/25/20 VA Newsletter, “Veterans have multiple resources available for the latest COVID-19 or coronavirus information, from the overall Federal government response to VA resources, rumor control, CDC information, state resource listings and more”

​*** 3/26/20 SBA, “Administrator Carranza Implements Automatic Deferment on Existing SBA Disaster Loans Through End of 2020" Questions: Mark - SBA, (202) 205-6157, C (202) 365-7461,

​*** 3/27/20 U.S. Department of Labor, “Small and midsize employers will benefit from two new refundable payroll tax credits designed to immediately and fully reimburse them for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related family and medical leave and sick leave to their employees:

*** 3/27/20 What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws:

Job Accommodation Network:

Questions: VRBS Business Services Team Members Jeanne (Missoula); Hamilton:

​*** 3/29/20 HOPE Rescue Mission “The Outreach Team has continued to visit and care for the basic needs of those who are homeless. The 549-HOPE coordinators are taking calls from home and organizing deliveries for those who need food and medications but are unable to pick them up."

​*** 3/30/20 Montana Department of Labor & Industry, “Please note that the FAQ’S from Unemployment (UI) are being constantly updated"

​*** 3/30/20 Salvation Army, “still open  Monday through Thursday 9am-3pm for food boxes, hygiene kits, and they have a little bit of rental assistance left.”

*** 4/1/20 Learning Center at Red Willow, "We're pleased to be able to offer more classes online"

Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program INFO / WAIVER:

New phone (406) 530-7175,

*** 4/7/20 Western Montana Mental Health Clinic, “The Behavioral Urgent Care Clinic in Missoula is open (M-F, 9am - 5pm, 1201 Wyoming St). Set to have same day care for anyone needing urgent behavioral health services." Kari Auclair, Area Director – WMMHC, Missoula, Ravalli, Granite, Powell, Deer Lodge, Beaverhead Counties,

*** 4/9/20 Montana Department of Labor & Industry, "Page for self-employed, independent contractors and others"

*** 4/9/20 Wounded Warrior Project ~ COVID-19 Relief Program, "Veterans in financial distress / members in need will be able to apply for $1,000 grants, intended to go toward groceries, utilities or housing." APPLY:

​​*** 4/9/20 AARP Tele-Townhall Recordings:

Questions: Steve Reiter, AARP Montana (406) 457-4702,

​*** 4/14/20 Dena - Bitterroot DAV, “I have been referring our Veterans in the Bitterroot and Missoula areas who need transport to VTS - Veteran Transportation Service 447-6270 however I did get permission that if VTS is not able to transport our Veterans in our area due to not having a driver available etc DAV can transport in those situations- as long as the Veterans meet DAV guidelines and if I can find a volunteer driver who is available.” DAV website

​*** 4/16/20 VFW, “The Veterans of Foreign Wars Unmet Needs Program offers grants up to $1,500 to eligible Veterans, service members and military families." VA BLOG:


Questions: Unmet Needs at 1-866-789-6333

*** 4/22/20 Montana DLI, “individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits (e.g. self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig workers, COVID-19-impacted workers) can file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). FILE PUA Claim:

Montanans can call (406) 444-3382 or email for help.


*** 4/23/20 VBA Fort Harrison, Clarissa Caunday at VBA Fort Harrison Regional Benefits Office confirmed VBA is granting extensions on the deadline by which to file an appeal (disability claims) The Veteran can call 1-800-827-1000 and let them know they need an extension “Due to COVID-19,” and VBA is automatically granting the extension."

*** 4/24/20 Montana Housing within the Department of Commerce, “COVID-19 information phone line at 1-888-333-0461 or

*** 4/24/20 U.S Small Business Administration, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP),

Questions: Brent - SBA (406) 441-1083,

*** 4/28/20 Emergency Housing Assistance Program:

*** 4/30/20 Job Corps, “IF you have interested parties, please have them contact me via email or phone. I am interviewing  students  via online docu- sign application and phone." Questions: Rick (406) 396-2793,

*** 5/4/20 Minutes from "4/30 Lunch & Learn (Mark Upton, MD) – Urgent Care Briefing" VA Mission Act – Urgent Care & Same Day Services: []

Veteran Community Care – Urgent Care YOUTUBE: []

VA Blog – Urgent Care: []

  • To check your eligibility, call 844-698-2311 (select 1, then 3)

  • To locate an urgent care provider, Veterans can use VA's Provider Locator [] (Or, contact your local VA or call 1-877-881-7618 which is the OCC National Contact Center).

Prescriptions: There is no Rx card needed to identify the Veteran.

Veteran urgent care webpage

Questions: Mark -Veterans Health Administration,

*** 5/5/20 State of Montana, “Beginning Thursday, May 7, Montanans out of work, families with limited resources, small businesses, non-profits and others can apply for financial relief for things like rental and mortgage assistance, business and non-profit grants, grants to serve seniors and those living with a disability, food banks and local food producers":

*** 5/13/20 Blackstone Launchpad, “The Business Emergency Assistance & Recovery (BEAR) Program is providing a "single point of entry" to sole proprietors and small businesses requesting assistance or guidance in responding to the COIVD-19 crisis.  


Questions: Paul (406) 243-5723,

*** 5/13/20 VA News, “VA has expanded support services enabled by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to make available immediate relief for Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic.”

*** “On March 27, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, into law to help Americans economically impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to help homeowners avoid home foreclosure, including VA Home Loans.”

*** 5/14/20 National Cemetery Administration, "Americans are encouraged to pay tribute to deceased Veterans by utilizing the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM):



Questions: Danny -NCA,

*** 5/14/20 VA, “Protect Yourself from COVID-19 with VA Virtual Tools”

Addressing the Needs of Veterans During COVID-19 ~ VBA Contact Information:

*** 5/18/20 National Center for Appropriate Technology, “$16 Billion Available to Help Farmers"

ATTRA helpline (U.S. only): 800-346-9140 (English) Or, Send an email to 

*** 5/20/20 VA News, “VA coronavirus chatbot is available 24/7 to quickly triage COVID-19 symptoms and answer your questions on testing options, stimulus payments and telehealth, and  even how to reschedule VA appointments.”

*** 5/21/20 Montana DPHHS, “Telework Assistance Grants of up to $1,000 per individual now available through Disability Employment and Transitions (DET) Division" 1 (877) 296-1197 or email

*** 5/21/20 Montana State Relief Funds:

​​*** 6/3/20 VA Health Care, “VA Medical Centers: Moving Forward Together”

*** 6/3/20 VA News, “National Surveillance Tool assesses readiness across VA’s health system”

AND, “VA partners with Dole Foundation, Red Cross to help Veteran caregivers”

AND, "Transition Talk” video series: Military to Civilian support during COVID-19”

*** 6/3/20 VA News – RallyPoint, “Vet Centers Provide Counseling and Care by Phone, Video and In Person”

*** 6/4/20 Montana DPHHS & DLI Business Services, “help businesses with accommodations as they move to a partial or full virtual landscape.”

*** 6/9/20 Career One Stop and SMART goals. Videos and tools from Workforce GPS for establishing a re-employment plan:

*** 6/11/20, “Military aid societies, namely the Army Emergency Relief (AER), the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) and the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) adapted quickly to the crisis to help service members and continue to aid U.S. troops through new programming"

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society offers financial assistance and Quick Assist Loans to aid service members:

*** 6/19/20 US DOL, “OSHA has issued guidance to assist employers in reopening non-essential businesses and their employees returning to work during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and information on pooled employer plans and other multiple employer plans.”

*** 6/19/20 Montana DLI, “A new website was created to consolidate COVID-19 specific DLI information at This site is continually updated.

  • Recordings of town halls

  • A Return to Work webpage to provide job seekers information during the phased reopening of Montana’s economy at  

  • The Research & Analysis Bureau created a dashboard with timely and extensive information on UI claims, the Unemployment Rate, job postings, and other detailed information at

*** 6/24/20 Montana Department of Commerce, “comprehensive resource for Montanans to identify whether they qualify for financial relief and to serve as a resource as we collectively begin to reopen: Montana COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-333-0461 or

Business owners 1-800-755-6672

*** 6/25/20 Bob Woodruff Foundation Announces, "Additional $2 Million Investment in Programs Providing Urgent Support to Veterans Impacted by Coronavirus"

*** 7/1/20 VA, “VA expanded its telehealth sessions by 1000% since March to continue serving Veterans during the pandemic."

Annie's Coronavirus Precaution texts provide general information, tips on precautions, and assessing and monitoring symptoms.

*** 7/6/20 Missoula Housing Authority July 2020 Newsletter, “Rental / Mortgage Assistance: The state of Montana is continuing to administer CARES rental and mortgage assistance." Apply: (This assistance is for Montanans not receiving other types of housing assistance).

*** 7/14/20 Missoula Field Office of Public Assistance, “In order to access our services, please utilize the following options" Self Service Portal: (Apply, Check Benefits, View Notices, Report Changes, Upload Documents) – Questions: 1-888-706-1535,

*** 7/15/20 VA &, “VA has teamed up with Help Heal Veterans to deliver quarantine kits to help keep Veterans occupied and entertained" (educational materials, craft supplies, and materials that can be used to help Veterans create their own face masks):

*** 7/17/20 US DOL, "U.S. Department of Labor Awards $3 Million Dislocated Worker Grant In Response to the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency"

​*** 7/21/20 Job Service Missoula, "Opening Doors to Your Success" Workshops available via email, video conference or phone whenever possible." Call (406) 728-7060 9am-5pm Monday - Friday or email

*** 7/21/20 Montana DPHHS Announcement, "$33 Million in Grant Funding for Behavioral Health Providers"

*** 7/24/20 HRC, "District XI Human Resource Council is the recipient of CARES ACT funding as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This funding is in the form of Emergency Solutions Grant in Mineral, Ravalli, and Missoula Counties. ESG can assist individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness with deposit and first month’s rent. ESG can also assist individuals and families at risk of eviction to pay up to 3 months of rent. All (406) 728-3710, to be screened for assistance."

*** 7/27/20 Small Business Admin

*** 7/29/20 Business Adaptability Grant Program Expands

*** 7/29/20 "DPHHS Telework Assistance Grants are still available through Disability Employment and Transitions (DET) Division. This funding will go towards purchasing assistive technology equipment to assist workers with disabilities in Montana maintain telework opportunities" Call (877) 296-1197 or email

*** 8/5/20 VA Newsletter, "How VA Used EHR Data for COVID-19 Risk Assessments"

AND, "VA works to protect older Veterans from COVID-19 complications"

*** 8/6/20 NASWA, "COVID-19 State Workforce Agency Resources"

​*** 8/11/20 Montana DLI re Unemployment Insurance, "UI overpayment questions: (406) 444-5434 – regardless of what their letter may say and regardless of whether the overpayment is from regular UI or PUA."

*** 8/12/20 VA Newsletter, “Rx Refills During the Pandemic”

AND, “How VA Helps Veteran business owners"

*** 8/24/20 Montana DLI, "recently approved program that will provide an additional $400 to some UI claimants." FAQ:

*** 8/31/20 The Montana Department of Commerce, "announced that Montana Housing has made updates to the Emergency Housing Assistance program to help more Montanans access rent and mortgage payment assistance."

*** 9/1/20 Help Heal Veterans (From NVTI webinar), “HHV Supports Veterans and Military Personnel Through COVID-19” (FREE theraputic craft kits to help deal with isolation)

​*** 9/4/20 CDC Order Bans Evictions: Federal Eviction Moratorium Effective Through Dec. 31, 2020

In Addition, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development have extended their foreclosure moratoriums for VA-guaranteed mortgages and USDA-RD direct and guaranteed home loans through December 31, 2020.

*** 9/4/20 Legal services available via MLSA, "Coronavirus Relief Fund to ensure more Montanans can access free legal services."

*** 9/16/20 VA News, “IRS reopens registration for Economic Impact Payment”

COVID relief for Veterans:

"VA resumed in-person C&P exams in locations where it was safe to do so. VA has since expanded these in-person examinations to other locations based upon local COVID-19 risk assessments.”

*** 9/23/20 Salvation Army, "Salvation Army is open from 9-12, M-TH for people to use their computers for only JOBS and HOUSING."

*** 10/1/20 Missoula Public Library and Parks & Rec, "The new (library) building at 455 E. Main St. is completed.. Meanwhile, Missoula Parks & Recreation will move into the old library (301 E. Main St.) and offer a new childcare option called BaseCamp for those families with students in the hybrid-model of school and needing additional help with childcare services. Available for kids ages 4 and up, BaseCamp will be open M-F 7:30am-5:30pm and will have capacity for 120 students at that site. More information and online registration is available at BASE Camp Missoula" Questions: 721-PARK (7275)!

*** 10/7/20 VA News, “VA resumes in-person benefits services halted by the COVID-19 response”

*** 10/8/20 Montana DLI re Unemployment, "Please advise people to read the letter they get especially if there is specific instructions or a direct number to call to resolve their situations: Over-payments (406) 444-5434; FIT - Identity Verification (406) 444-0072; Employer Line (406) 444-3834; PUA (406) 444-3382"

*** KPAX, "Workforce Recovery Grant Program"

*** 10/15/20 Montana Department of Commerce - The Emergency Housing Assistance Program:

*** 10/15/20 MONTANA OFFICE OF TOURISM AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, "$3 Million Now Available to Support Montana Businesses to Refill Jobs Lost Due to Pandemic Impacts"

​*** 11/18/20 MT DLI, "Interim Pandemic Assistance (IPA) Program" ($25 million to be expended from Montana’s allocation of federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to eligible Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA claimants)

*** 11/18/20 KPAX ~ Rocky Mountain Lab in Hamilton helps with the study of infection diseases:

*** 11/23/20 Job Accommodation Network (JAN), "information regarding COVID-19 pandemic"

*** 12/9/20 KPAX, "Missoula Co. award COVID-19 grants to small businesses"

*** 12/29/20 Montana DLI, " verification cases (406) 444-2545 / updated resource" 

*** 12/31/20 Montana Crisis Recovery, "a COVID-19 crisis counseling program, dedicated to helping people struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Support is available to all; it's free, confidential, and anonymous. To speak with a trained crisis counselor dial (877) 503-8033." Temporary landing page: or Facebook:

*** 12/31/20 Montana VA Health Care System "has received the Moderna COVID-19 and we will be contacting Veterans directly when they can receive the vaccine.

*** 1/22/21 IRS, Some people will (have) receive(d) their stimulus in the form of a debit card.

*** 1/27/21 Montana DLI, "Montana's economic performance during COVID-19"

*** 2/10/21 VA, “Veterans and caregivers can sign up for an easy way to stay informed about getting a COVID-19 vaccine through VA at

*** 2/18/21 Montana DLI, "COVID poster available online" (Employers can look at the checklist and ensure they are in compliance).

*** 2/18/21 AARP Montana, "New COVID-19 Vaccine Scams Targeting Veterans:

COVID-19 Vaccine – VA HELPLINE: 1-800-MyVA411 press 8 (1-800-698-2411) or online:

*** 3/9/21 Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program, "The program is not yet taking applications but applicants can begin getting their materials ready now." Watch for updates at HOUSING.MT.GOV

*** 3/11/21 Montana DLI - Unemployment Insurance Division (406) 444-2545 Or,

*** 3/12/21 Missoula Public Library, "Tammy Ravas, Professor, Interim Head of Information and Research Services Division, Mansfield Library confirmed there are some computers available for public use" 7am - 6pm

*** 3/16/21 Montana DLI, "The UI overpayment hotline is up and running. The phone number is 406-444-5434" (M - F 10am 4pm)

*** 3/17/21 Missoula City County Health Dept, "link is continuously updated" (see who has vaccinations / shots - when the bar is green on top, there are open appointments):

*** 3/24/21 KPAX, "Vaccines for all starting Sunday March 28th"

*** 3/24/21 VA, "All Veterans, their spouses and caregivers can get COVID-19 vaccinations from VA under the SAVE LIVES Act signed into law March 24 []."

*** 3/26/21 Montana DLI, "FAQs for regarding Montana, General questions, Troubleshooting, Trusted Referee Info - link Montana Help Page" (step-by-step guide for claimants using the Claim Module and what to expect).

*** 3/26/21 FEMA, "to assist families who have had someone pass away from COVID19 & help offset the cost of funeral expenses." ($9,000 for 1, up to $35,000.00 for more - Applications open in April)

*** 4/12/21 Office of the Governor, "Emergency Rent, Utility Assistance Now Available for Montanans Financially Impacted by COVID-19"

Montanans can check their eligibility and apply now for Emergency Rental Assistance at HOUSING.MT.GOV

*** 4/22/21 Montana DLI re Vaccination Requirements:

*** 4/28/21 VA News - Vaccine Q&A:

*** Veteran restaurant business owners eligible for $28.6 Billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund:

VA Blog:

**** 5/4/21 Bob Woodruff Foundation announced an investment of over $4.6 million in grants to 44 best-in-class organizations that serve veterans, caregivers, and military families!
Questions: Bob Woodruff Foundation (646) 441-6864,

*** 5/5/21 Montana Unemployment Insurance Division, “Changes to Federal UI Programs and Eligibility Requirements. Beginning June 27, 2021, pandemic related eligibility rules (ARM 24.11-478) will end. Normal eligibility requirements will be applied, determining if you are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work:

*** 5/19/21 David J. Thatcher VA Clinic ~ COVID VACCINES, 2687 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula 

** Walk-in appointments are available, based on availability 9:00-11:30 a.m.

** Schedule an appointment: call (877) 468-8387 and select Option 2, and then Option 2 to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. 

** Non-enrolled Veterans, their spouses and/or caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients:

For more details and to view upcoming vaccine clinics, visit

Questions: Montana VA Health Care (406) 447-7990,

OR David J. Thatcher VA Clinic (406) 493-3800

*** 5/27/21 Montana DLI, "Here is a link to our job tracking dashboard with up-to-date county-specific information on employment, labor force, unemployment insurance, and more."

UI claims nationally (Wall Street Journal):

*** 6/4/21 Montana DLI -Notice of Eligibility Update "You may be eligible for a one-time $1200 Return-to-Work bonus IF you meet ALL the criteria. How to Apply: When you start work, please complete the Return-to-Work Bonus application found here: RtW Application. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry will contact you after four weeks from your hire date and request pay stubs to verify your continued employment." For more information:


*** 7/6/21 VA- VEO, "There are Four Easy Ways for Veterans to get the vaccine:

1. Just walk into a VA Medical Facility. Even if you are not a VA customer. No appointment is needed. Find one near you

2. Sign up to have your local VA contact you or send your care team a secure message on MyHealtheVet

3. Call 1-800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411) and press 8 for more information, or press 0 to speak to an agent.

4. Search for other vaccine options at, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233

Questions: Bob Mortenson - Veterans Experience Office (VACO), Veterans, Family and Community Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs (360) 568-4592,

*** 7/20/21 "HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced a new process for Montana employers to notify the Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) if an unemployment insurance (UI) claimant fails to appear for a scheduled interview. Employers who submit information about declined or missed interviews may be contacted by fraud investigators for more information. UI claimants are encouraged to consult the Claimant Handbook to ensure they remain in compliance with work search requirements. If an individual is receiving UI benefits and then refuses an official offer of work, it may impact their ability to continue receiving benefits. In these cases, employers are encouraged to notify UI and complete the Refusal of Work Report form and return it to or log on to UI eServices for Employers and attach it to a secure web message.

*** 8/6/21 House Bill 702 FAQ:

*** 9/29/21 VA "Veterans can receive Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster"

*** 10/27/21 UI Fraud is a crime which affects everyone. It drives up the cost of UI taxes for businesses and causes frustration for law-abiding employers and workers. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry takes UI Fraud very seriously; all reports of potential, alleged, or suspected fraud are thoroughly reviewed and investigated accordingly. Those found to have committed UI fraud are subject to penalties and/or criminal prosecution. If you suspect a person (Claimant) or a business (Employer) is committing UI fraud, you may report it online or contact our fraud investigator by phone at (406) 444-0072 or toll free at (888) 556-4677; by fax at (406) 444-6651 or by filling out our email form at 

1/25/23 Front Line Staff, "In light of the uptick in positive covid numbers, I wanted to send everyone the link to the free covid tests that USPS is sending out." COVID Home Tests | USPS

2/15/23 The Department of Commerce Automation Loan Program is to assist businesses with the reduction of manual labor by updating or replacing production equipment that produces a product. This program is not designed to reduce the number of jobs but instead a reduction of manual labor by updating or replacing production equipment. The Department will provide an 0% deferred loan for up to 50% of the purchase price of the automation equipment but not to exceed $500,000:; Questions:

5/9/23 VA BTSSS Travel Notice, "For the past 3 years, during the Covid Pandemic Emergency, the 30-day Beneficiary Travel Claims rule was relaxed to allow Veterans to submit beneficiary travel claims well after the normal 30 days of the appointment date. Beginning June 9th Veterans claiming beneficiary travel will have to do so within 30 days of their appointment date. Veterans now have until June 8th to file any outstanding travel claims for appointments that have occurred since March 20th, 2020. Starting June 9th, 2023, claims NOT filed within the 30 days of their appointment date will be denied. NOTE: proof of attendance is required with all community care claims. Reference: Congressional Mandate 42 U.S.C.1320b5(g)(1), 38 CFR Part 70, Subpart A; Questions: Jonathan J Elm, MS - Montana VA Congressional Liaison, Montana VA Health Care System, 3687 Veterans Drive| Ft. Harrison, MT 59636, 406-439-2989,

5/30/23 VA / VHA, "Effective immediately, masking continues to be required for staff, Veterans, and visitors while in the high-risk areas listed below, including waiting areas:  

  • Transplant units   

  • Dialysis   

  • Chemotherapy units   

  • ED & urgent care   

  • Open Bay Medical ICUs  

  • SCI and CLC (staff and visitors only)   

Staff may remove masks in these high-risk areas only under the following circumstances: 

  • they are not in a patient room; 

  • they are not within six feet of a Veteran in a congregate area (e.g., shared meals in CLC); or

  • they are not within six feet of a patient in an open treatment area/room.

Masking also continues to be required:

  • for those with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection or other viral respiratory infection;

  • for VA staff during clinical encounters when requested by a Veteran, caregiver or family member; or

  • where local leadership warrants continued masking is required.

Masking is no longer universally required in the following locations:

  • Acute inpatient medical/surgical units

  • Acute inpatient mental health units

  • Intensive care units with closed rooms

  • Clinical areas where aerosol generating procedures are performed

  • Laboratories collecting or handling specimens from known or suspected COVID-19 patients (e.g., areas where staff are manipulating cultures from known or suspected COVID-19 patients)

  • Congregate settings and bedded residential settings (e.g., blind rehab, residential mental health, homeless shelters)

  • Outpatient areas where a significant proportion of patients have high-risk for complication"

COVID-19 Updates: About Us
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