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Great Falls hospitals tighten visitor policies as COVID cases climb

Posted at 11:37 AM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 13:37:02-05

With COVID-19 cases rising again both in Great Falls and across the state, many hospitals and healthcare facilities are limiting the number of visitors allowed for each patient.

Patients being treated at Benefis Health System will now only be allowed to bring two healthy visitors into their hospital rooms. Prior to this change, patients were not limited on the number of guests visiting them.

More than two people can visit their loved one, but only two can be allowed into the hospital room at once. Benefis announced last week that this change to their visitor policy would go into effect immediately.

“As we’ve seen an increase in COVID cases across our community and an increase in COVID hospitalizations, we just want to take every measure that we can to keep our patients and their families as safe as possible, as well as our staff during this time,” said Kaci Husted, the Vice President of Communications at Benefis Healthcare System.

At the Great Falls Clinic hospital, guests and visitors are no longer allowed to enter, unless they are an essential caregiver for the patient. Parents of under-aged patients are also approved as essential caregivers.

At both facilities, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and requires hospitalization will not be allowed any visitors, unless it’s a life-ending situation.

There were 427 new cases and 1 new death added to the total on the Montana COVID-19 tracking site on Monday morning; the data below is from the official Montana website on November 9:

  • HOSPITALIZATIONS: There are 470 current hospitalizations, and a cumulative total of 1,492 hospitalizations.
  • DEATHS: The cumulative number of deaths in Montana is now 457.
  • ACTIVE CASES: There are 15,771 active COVID-19 cases in Montana.
  • CASES & RECOVERIES: There have been 40,053 cumulative cases, with 23,825 people listed as recovered.
  • TESTING: There were 14,322 completed tests, for a cumulative state-wide total of 540,913.

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. Based on state and county data, MTN News reports the following:

  • Total Cases: 40,434 (+381 from state)
  • Active: 13,867 (-1,904 from state)
  • Deaths: 474 (+17 from state)
  • Recoveries: 26,093 (+2,268 from state)