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190 COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Montana; active cases at 2,104
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190 COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Montana; active cases at 2,104

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Another 190 COVID-19 cases in Montana were reported Wednesday morning on the state's mapping and information website.

That brings the state's active case total to 2,104 people compared to 2,028 last week and 1,998 active cases at the same time two weeks ago.

The state also reported another death, bringing the statewide death total to 141 people since March. A week ago, a total of 124 people in Montana were reported to have died as a result of COVID-19. Two weeks ago, 109 total deaths were reported.

The death added to the state's website was a Gallatin County resident. The county health department reported her death Friday but it was not reflected on the state website until Wednesday morning. The death was a woman in her 90s who died in late August. 

Her death certificate "attributed the death to significant underlying health conditions and listed COVID-19 as a significant contributing factor," the health department press release says.

Another 2,035 new tests were reported Wednesday, bringing the state total to 292,401. Since March, Montana has reported 9,431 people confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. Of those people 7,186 are considered recovered.

There were 106 people actively hospitalized according to the Wednesday update. The state has had a total of 543 people hospitalized due to COVID-19.

A week ago, 163 people were hospitalized in the state and two weeks ago 150 people were hospitalized.

In a press call Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Steve Bullock attributed the steep decrease in active hospitalizations this week largely to data cleanup rather than a reflection of a downward trend in hospitalizations.

"It's pretty easy in each of our hospitals when someone comes in, but the reporting isn't always as clean and consistent when they're coming out," Bullock said "So, the hospitals provided the most updated information, did some cleanup on that. I wouldn't read that as a trend of all of a sudden, you know, we're going to continue to see a decline in hospitalizations, especially with the caseload. But it was more a reporting issue than it was a fundamental shift in what's happening out there in the communities."

Almost half the hospitalizations in the state on Wednesday were in Yellowstone County, where 52 people were hospitalized. Among those people, 18 were in intensive care units and 14 had been intubated.

A total of 32 Yellowstone County residents were hospitalized Wednesday due to COVID-19. 

Hospitalizations in Yellowstone County dipped down to 41 people on Sunday. 

The state's COVID-19 mapping and information website relies on data compiled by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Yellowstone County added the highest number of cases with 82 for an active total of 752 compared to 813 active cases at the same time last week and 955 active cases two weeks ago.

Rosebud County, which has the second most active cases in the state, added 39 new cases to bring its active total to 365. A week ago Rosebud County was reporting 233 active cases. Two weeks ago at the same time Rosebud County had 268 active cases.

Cascade County, which has the third most active cases in the state added 18 cases to bring its active case total to 223. A week ago Cascade County had 184 confirmed active cases. Two weeks ago the county reported 112 active cases.

Flathead County, which has the fourth highest number of active cases in the state reported no new cases Wednesday morning. A week ago Flathead County had 183 active cases. Two weeks ago the county had 129 active cases.

Big Horn County, which has the fifth-highest number of active cases reported eight additional cases Wednesday morning for 120 active cases. A week ago Big Horn County had 142 active cases. Two weeks ago the county had 150 active cases.

Other counties which added cases in the Wednesday update include:

  • Gallatin with six (34 active)
  • Dawson with five (12 active)
  • Custer with four (12 active)
  • Lewis and Clark with four (16 active)
  • Missoula with four (69 active)
  • Park with four (13 active)
  • Choteau with three (seven active)
  • Carbon with two (eight active)
  • Hill with two (19 active)
  • Lake with two (46 active)
  • Ravalli with two (six active)
  • Deer Lodge with one (54 active)
  • Glacier with one (28 active)
  • Jefferson with one (five active)
  • Richland with one (seven active)
  • Silver Bow with one (51 active)

In Yellowstone County, an update to two numbers-driven categories being monitored to inform a potential school closure decision improved, while other aspects of the county's COVID-19 public health status slipped into red status.

COVID-19 Daily Case Average, defined as the daily new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people on a seven-day average Sunday through Saturday, went down to 18 per 100,000. That's compared to 20 cases per 100,000 in an update a week ago and 24.7 cases per 100,000 in an update two weeks ago.

Yellow status for COVID-19 Daily Case Average ranges from 10 to 25 new cases per 100,000 population.

Positive COVID-19 Test Rate, which is defined as the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests on a seven-day average Sunday through Saturday, went down to 6.3% in an update this week.

A week ago an update calculated that figure to be 7.2% as of Sept. 5. Two weeks ago the number was at 10.4%, which was just above the threshold for red status.

Health Department Capacity, defined as sufficient staff for COVID-19 monitoring and follow-up was recently updated to red status, indicating stressed operations/critical concerns.

Case Investigation, defined as the ability to manage investigations and contact tracing for all COVID-19 positive results, was also updated to red status.

County health officials have been saying for weeks that public health is being strained by the demands of responding to COVID-19.

In a press conference in early September, Yellowstone County Health Officer John Felton said that contact tracing capacity had become so strained in August that only 642 people with COVID-19 and 77% of their contacts were reached. A total of 1,045 COVID-19 infections in Yellowstone County were confirmed in August.

In some cases people were not returning phone calls, or did not have their voicemail set up.

RiverStone Public Information Officer Barbara Schneeman said Wednesday the county is continuing fall behind on case investigation and contact tracing despite hiring additional staff over the last couple of months.

"On average, it takes about an hour to investigate a positive case and depending on the number of contacts someone has, it can take several more hours to complete follow-up," Schneeman said. "Many of the people we have hired are not fulltime workers and work irregular schedules so that can also slow our work. We are continuing to hire people to do this work."

Schneeman said that among new cases, children are being prioritized for contact tracing and case investigation since schools are back in session.

Other COVID-19 status categories on the Unified Health Command's Dashboard are as follows:

  • Testing Capacity, defined as staff and supplies to screen and test all individuals recommended for COVID-19 testing, is in yellow status.
  • Healthcare System Capacity, defined as sufficient hospital staff, beds, and equipment to treat patients with COVID-19 and all other patients safely, is in yellow status. 
  • Disease Surveillance, defined as monitoring emergency department visits for respiratory symptoms, is in green status.
  • Regional Impact, defined as active COVID-19 cases in UHC's regional service area including surrounding counties, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, is in red status.

The county, gender and age breakdown of cases reported Wednesday in Montana are as follows:

County

Gender

Age Range

Date Reported

Big Horn

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Big Horn

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Big Horn

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Big Horn

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Big Horn

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Big Horn

F

70-79

09/15/2020

Big Horn

F

40-49

09/15/2020

Big Horn

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Carbon

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Carbon

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Cascade

F

40-49

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Cascade

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Cascade

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Cascade

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Cascade

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Cascade

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Cascade

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Chouteau

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Chouteau

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Chouteau

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Custer

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Custer

M

80-89

09/15/2020

Custer

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Custer

F

70-79

09/15/2020

Dawson

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Dawson

M

90-99

09/15/2020

Dawson

M

70-79

09/15/2020

Dawson

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Dawson

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Deer Lodge

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Gallatin

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Gallatin

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Gallatin

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Gallatin

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Gallatin

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Gallatin

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Glacier

F

70-79

09/15/2020

Hill

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Hill

M

70-79

09/15/2020

Jefferson

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Lake

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Lake

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Lewis and Clark

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Lewis and Clark

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Lewis and Clark

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Lewis and Clark

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Missoula

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Missoula

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Park

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Park

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Park

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Park

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Ravalli

F

70-79

09/15/2020

Ravalli

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Richland

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

40-49

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

40-49

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

70-79

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

70-79

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Rosebud

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Rosebud

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Silver Bow

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

70-79

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

70-79

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

10-19

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

80-89

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

70-79

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

70-79

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

80-89

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

70-79

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

50-59

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

80-89

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

10-19

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

30-39

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

60-69

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

0-9

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/15/2020

Yellowstone

F

50-59

09/15/2020

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