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Tribes: 2 health care workers in Poplar test positive for COVID-19

Tribes: 2 health care workers in Poplar test positive for COVID-19

By the numbers

The Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes said Wednesday they were notified by Northeast Montana Health Services that two health care workers at the Riverside Family Clinic in Poplar have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Further details of these cases are not available but, consistent with standard protocols, an investigation is underway to identify any persons who may have been in contact with the persons that tested positive to provide appropriate instructions for self-quarantine or other measures," the tribes said in a release.

The cases are the first reported to be associated with a reservation community in Montana.

On Tuesday, state medical director Greg Holzman said 95% of Montanans with known COVID-19 cases were white, 3.5% are Native, 0.4% black, 0.4% Asian-American and 0.4% are other. Indian Health Services has reported 13 positive tests from its Billings area, out of 1,186 tested, though this area covers Montana and Wyoming and there were no details about where those positive cases were.

Montana reached 332 known COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with six deaths reported statewide and 31 hospitalizations.

The state also reported 135 recoveries, a number recently added to a website with COVID-19 information.

Gov. Steve Bullock on Tuesday extended a stay-at-home order, along with several other directives closing public K-12 schools and pausing evictions, until April 24.

The state public health laboratory in Helena has processed 7,398 tests for Montanans, though that figure does not capture tests health care providers send to private labs. Positive results from private labs are included in the state totals.

Gallatin County remains the state's hot spot, with 120 cases by Wednesday.

Yellowstone County has 48 cases; Flathead has 31; Missoula has 25; Toole has 17; Lewis and Clark has 16; Cascade and Butte-Silver Bow each have 11; Madison has eight; Park and Lincoln have seven; Lake has five; Broadwater has four; Carbon, Anaconda-Deer Lodge and Ravalli all have three; Glacier, Jefferson, Richland and Roosevelt each have two; and Beaverhead, Hill, Liberty, Meagher and Musselshell all have one.

Toole County, with a population of about 4,800, has been hit especially hard by the virus at least in part because of an outbreak in an assisted living facility there. Three of the state's six deaths have been there.

On Monday, a model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington issued a projection that decreased the number of deaths in Montana and needed hospital beds due to COVID-19, though in-state experts have urged caution about using that model.

Photos of the coronavirus response in Montana

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