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COVID-19 in Montana (Saturday July 18)

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Posted at 2:46 PM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 21:59:36-04

Health officials reported 106 new COVID-19 cases across Montana on Saturday morning, according to the Montana Response COVID-19 tracking map.

Governor Steve Bullock announced on Wednesday a statewide directive requiring face coverings/masks in Montana. The directive is effective immediately in counties that have four or more active cases of COVID-19. The directive requires that masks be used in most indoor settings and where social distancing cannot be maintained. Bullock said businesses will have the right to deny entry of anyone not wearing a mask. Click here for details on the directive.

Note: 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. The numbers below are from the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services on Saturday, July 18th:

  • TOTAL CASES & RECOVERIES: There have now been 2,471 cumulative cases statewide, and 1,075 people have recovered from the virus.
  • HOSPITALIZATIONS: There have been 164 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began; there are currently 46 patients hospitalized.
  • ACTIVE CASES: The state reports there are currently 1,359 active COVID-19 cases in Montana.
  • TESTING: The number of tests increased by 1,475 over the previous 24-hour reporting period, for a new cumulative state-wide total of 131,879.
  • DEATHS: The cumulative number of deaths in Montana is now 37. On Thursday, Lewis & Clark County health officials reported its first COVID-19 related death. The second new death reported Friday is connected to Canyon Creek Memory Care, a Billings senior care facility struggling with a deadly outbreak of the virus. Five other deaths have been reported this week in connection with Canyon Creek. There have been six deaths in Toole County, four in Yellowstone County, four in Big Horn County, two in Cascade County, and two in Flathead County. The other deaths have been reported in Gallatin, Lincoln, Madison, Ravalli, Missoula, and Big Horn counties.

In Cascade County, there has been a total of 69 confirmed cases. Of those, 31 are currently active, 36 have recovered, and two died. The City-County Health Department in Great Falls posted the following message on Friday:
To eliminate possible discrepancies, we are going to rely on the State’s case numbers going forward, which are released each morning. Several factors go into the numbers of total & active cases of COVID-19, including:

  • The greatly increased volume of tests being performed in Montana at both State and commercial labs
  • The equally drastic rise in the number of contact investigations being conducted in our County and statewide
  • Finding out in the course of contact investigations that a case of COVID may need to be reassigned to another jurisdiction
  • Numbers of people being released from isolation & quarantine each day
  • Occasional delays in communication between State, local health departments, and providers

Given these factors and the workload of our contact investigators, we are going to reduce confusion by reporting case numbers in conjunction with the State. Although we have been posting our situational updates each evening, we will now post them in the morning.

Benefis Health System said in an email on Friday morning: "As we continue to see many new daily COVID-19 cases throughout Montana, the demand for testing has increased beyond capacity. State officials have notified Benefis that the state lab's waiting period is now three to four weeks for results on tests for asymptomatic patients, and the wait is even longer for larger labs outside of Montana. Subsequently, state officials have directed us to stop testing asymptomatic people at this time and focus our testing only on those with symptoms. This significant change to testing is effective immediately." MTN News is trying to get more information about this, and if/how other testing agencies such as Alluvion Health are following suit.

The Chouteau County Health Department said on Friday: "There are three new positive Covid 19 cases in Chouteau County not related to any of the previous episodes. Everyone who needs to quarantine has been notified by the Health Department. Please be aware and take all personal precautions to keep yourself and your family safe. Social Distance, wash your hands or use sanitizer, don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth, wear a mask where social distancing is not possible, stay away from large gatherings and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly. If you have questions that don't involve the identity or location of these cases please feel free to call the Health Department at 622-3771 Tues through Thurs from 8-5."

NEW CASES REPORTED ON JULY 18

CountyGenderAge Range
BeaverheadM20-29
BeaverheadM20-29
BeaverheadF50-59
Big HornF40-49
Big HornF30-39
Big HornM0-9
Big HornM30-39
Big HornF10-19
Big HornM20-29
Big HornF10-19
CascadeM40-49
CascadeM20-29
CascadeM60-69
CascadeM50-59
CusterM80-89
FlatheadM60-69
FlatheadM20-29
FlatheadM70-79
FlatheadM60-69
FlatheadM40-49
FlatheadM20-29
FlatheadM50-59
FlatheadM10-19
FlatheadM30-39
FlatheadF50-59
FlatheadM20-29
GallatinM60-69
GallatinF20-29
GallatinF20-29
GallatinM30-39
GallatinM20-29
GallatinF40-49
GallatinF20-29
GallatinM20-29
GallatinM30-39
GallatinF40-49
GallatinM30-39
GallatinM30-39
GallatinF30-39
GallatinF30-39
GallatinM20-29
GallatinF20-29
GallatinF40-49
GallatinF20-29
GallatinM40-49
GarfieldF20-29
HillF30-39
HillM0-9
HillF40-49
HillF40-49
HillM40-49
HillF0-9
HillM0-9
HillF40-49
HillM10-19
HillF0-9
Lewis and ClarkF20-29
Lewis and ClarkM60-69
LincolnF30-39
LincolnM20-29
MadisonM20-29
MadisonM80-89
MadisonF20-29
MadisonF20-29
MissoulaM30-39
MissoulaM70-79
MissoulaF60-69
MissoulaF20-29
MissoulaF20-29
MissoulaM20-29
MissoulaM20-29
MissoulaM20-29
MissoulaF20-29
RavalliF60-69
Silver BowM20-29
Silver BowF20-29
YellowstoneM0-9
YellowstoneF20-29
YellowstoneF30-39
YellowstoneM0-9
YellowstoneM20-29
YellowstoneM60-69
YellowstoneF30-39
YellowstoneM60-69
YellowstoneF20-29
YellowstoneM40-49
YellowstoneF40-49
YellowstoneF50-59
YellowstoneF50-59
YellowstoneM60-69
YellowstoneF20-29
YellowstoneM30-39
YellowstoneM20-29
YellowstoneM20-29
YellowstoneM20-29
YellowstoneM50-59
YellowstoneF20-29
YellowstoneF60-69
YellowstoneM60-69
YellowstoneM50-59
YellowstoneM20-29
YellowstoneF70-79
YellowstoneF30-39
YellowstoneM30-39
YellowstoneM30-39
YellowstoneM20-29