Montana reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, June 22.
Big Horn County added 10 new cases, Gallatin County added 4. Carbon, Flathead and Yellowstone counties each added 2 new cases. Lake, Lewis and Clark, and Stillwater county each added 1.
The state conducted 948 new tests for a total of 71,305 test.
There has been a cumulative total of 740 cases in Montana. There are 15 current hospitalizations as of Monday. There are a reported 171 active cases with 548 people listed as recovered.
The number of deaths remains at 21. There have been six deaths in Toole County, three in Yellowstone County, two in Cascade County, and two in Flathead County. The other deaths have been reported in Big Horn, Gallatin, Lincoln, Madison, and Missoula counties.
Although the state is reporting 740 total cases, MTN does not include one case counted in Jefferson County that was traced to a resident of the county who was out of state and did not contract the virus in Montana.
Custer County health officials said Thursday they are "strongly recommending" the county return to phase one of the governor's reopening plan for two weeks because of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
Moving back to phase one means reducing capacity in bars and restaurants back to 50 percent, reducing the size of a larger gathering, including athletic and community events and assemblies, and other restrictions.
As of Sunday, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the United States stands at 119,728, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University. The database shows more than 2.25 million total cases in the U.S.
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REOPENING THE BIG SKY, PHASE TWO
Montana moved to "phase two" of Gov. Bullock's "Reopening The Big Sky" plan on Monday, June 1. Bullock noted that Montana continues to have the lowest number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations per capita in the nation.
Bullock outlined the following indicators which prompted him - in consultation with public health officials and disaster response personnel - to move into Phase Two beginning on June 1:
- A downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.
- The current ability to contact and trace, along with plans to add additional contact tracers to the existing workforce.
- Ensuring that health care workers have the supplies they need to treat COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
- Ramping up testing capacity to eventually meet a target of 60,000 tests a month and prioritizing testing for vulnerable Montanans and tribal communities. A total of 5,600 tests were conducted last week. Increased testing continues with sentinel testing efforts in nursing homes and assisting living facilities, testing events in tribal areas, and drive through testing being conducted at a few sites.
Here are some of the highlights of phase two:
- Avoid gatherings in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. Groups larger than 50 people should be canceled unless physical distancing can be maintained. It is recommended to continue to social distance in gatherings of any size.
- Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos remains in the same operations status as Phase One, but with an increase to 75% capacity.
- Gyms, indoor group fitness classes, pool, and hot tubs can operate at 75% capacity and only if they can adhere to strict physical distancing and they exercise frequent sanitation protocols.
- Concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines.
- All businesses are required to follow the social distancing and sanitation guidelines established in Phase One, and Montanans are strongly encouraged to continue sanitation practices, including handwashing and wearing masks in public places like grocery stores.
The Rebound: Montana brings you stories to help navigate these uncertain times caused by the coronavirus pandemic — from getting back to work to making ends meet — along with tips on how to manage the pressure and a look at how those in the community continue to step up.