Dusty’s Bar in Brady was preparing Thursday to reopen after choosing to close for two weeks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Owner Kortney Combs said while the past two weeks had been tough, the decision to close was anything but: "It was about 5 seconds,” Combs said.
Five seconds is all Combs needed to decide to shut down after learning COVID-19 cases had been linked to a recent golf tournament the bar catered and had employees play in.
"We went and got tested the next day just to make sure that we weren't spreaders or carriers,” said Combs. "It was scary. It still is scary."
She said the community has been supportive during the closure. "When we made the decision, I was concerned about people being upset but it's been quite the opposite. Everyone's just been praising us for making the right move. Again, we're doing this for the community,” Combs explained.
As a relatively new business owner, the experience has been humbling.
"I think we'll be more cautious. I hope we're all more cautious,” said Combs.
The bar is scheduled to reopen at 4 p.m. on October 12.
There were 615 new cases and four new deaths added to the total on the Montana COVID-19 tracking site on Thursday morning. The data below is from the official Montana website on October 8:
- TOTAL CASES & RECOVERIES: There have been 16,677 cumulative cases statewide, with 10,656 people recovered.
- HOSPITALIZATIONS: There are 263 current hospitalizations, and a cumulative total of 851 hospitalizations.
- DEATHS: The cumulative number of deaths in Montana is at 197.
- ACTIVE CASES: The state reports there are currently 5,824 active COVID-19 cases in Montana.
- TESTING: There were 5,489 completed tests, for a new cumulative state-wide total of 381,665.
Based on data from county public health departments, MTN News is reporting 205 total deaths as of Wednesday. Numbers reported by the state each day occasionally differ from those reported by county public health departments due to periodic lag times in reporting data to the state. We encourage people to check the official website and/or Facebook page of their respective county health department for any information that is not yet included in the state's daily updates.
- GFPS will give daily COVID updates
- MT will provide hospital data for COVID cases
- What constitutes a recovery? Click here for details
- Why are cases increasing? Click here for details
It's important to note that not every person who tests positive actually becomes ill or exhibits symptoms. Many do not; of those who do become sick, some experience mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization. Others, however, do require hospitalization, as noted in the daily update on the number of people hospitalized. However, every person who does test positive for COVID-19 has the potential to spread the virus to other people, including family members and friends, which is why public health officials continue to encourage everyone to wear a mask and maintain at least the recommended six feet of "social distance" when in public.
The significant increase in cases over the last several days has left several Montana hospitals strained, with 20 hospitals in the state currently caring for severe COVID patients. State officials said yesterday they will soon begin to publicly report information about COVID hospital capacity; the snapshot report will show bed capacity, beds occupied, ventilator availability, and ICU availability.