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Gov. Steve Bullock ordered Friday that all flags flown in Montana be displayed at half-staff until sunset on Sunday to honor the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Together, we mourn every life that has been claimed by the novel coronavirus in Montana and around the Nation,” Bullock said in a proclamation. “... My heart and the hearts of all Montanans go out especially to the 16 Montanans whose deaths were caused by COVID-19 and to their families and friends.”

There had been 479 confirmed cases of the virus and 16 virus-related deaths in the state as of Friday, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. There were 22 active cases of the virus statewide on Friday.

More than 1,570,000 people have been infected and more than 94,000 people have died due to COVID-19 in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bullock also ordered that all flags flown in Montana be displayed at half-staff on Monday, May 25, until noon to honor veterans and fallen servicemen and women on Memorial Day.

“On this day, we mourn the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms and liberties we cherish. Though we are in mourning, at noon the flag is raised to full-staff to honor the heroes still among us and symbolize that we are a living nation — resilient when faced with loss,” Bullock wrote in a separate proclamation.

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Helena Dore can be reached at or at 582-2628.