Governor Steve Bullock was in Missoula on Tuesday to visit two companies housed at MonTec; FYR Diagnostics and Inimmune, that are working on ways to find a vaccine for COVID 19.

“All Montanans have been dealing with some sort of COVID-19 since March,” said Governor Bullock. “But there are moments of optimism when a Montana based company like FYR Technologies is figuring out a way to have rapid testing and Inimmune, which has been a company that started in partnership with the University of Montana from a state grant, is on the cutting edge of making a second generation vaccine for COVID-19.”

Bullock said the two innovative Missoula companies are well past the research stage.

“It's not just scientific research,” he said. “They're focused on how we address the problem, certainly around the country. But in Montana, I mean FYR as they look at what they could do with testing, they're really focusing on what would the capacity need to be in our state more than anywhere else. So you have just incredibly bright people that have rolled up their sleeves like so many people have around the state and said, ‘We got to get our hands around this’ and those are areas that they're working that could make a difference today and into the future.”

Bullock also stopped by Hellgate Elementary School to meet with the Montana Army National Guard and help unload needed Personal Protective Equipment for students in the district.

“We've been working with our school districts as far as what they may need to safely reopen in some capacity,” he said. “And so we've provided money through the coronavirus relief dollars. But at the state level, we decided to buy some of the bulk supplies that every district large and small would need. So that's everything from face coverings to gloves to face shields to hand sanitizers.”

Superintendent Doug Reissig was grateful that the Governor and the National Guard made a special trip to Missoula to help his district that educates nearly 1,500 students.

“We have face masks, face shields, thermometers today and then there'll be another round of personal protective equipment coming with hand sanitizers, hand wipes and things of that nature that are all important to an elementary school, for heaven's sakes! We have to have it and for the governor to think of us in partnership with emergency response organizations here in Montana as well as the National Guard, we just feel very honored to have him here today. I'm very thankful and grateful.”

Both Bullock and the Army National Guard traveled from Helena to Missoula for the visit.