GREAT FALLS — Glacier Peaks Casino and Lil Peaks Casino announced on Saturday that they are taking "preemptive action" to close the casinos for two weeks to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
A news release says that this action supports the Blackfeet Tribe’s efforts to combat the virus and to ensure the safety of all community members.
Dennis Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Siyeh Corporation, said in a news release: "While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at either casino or in Glacier County, the State of Montana announced on Friday its first four presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus. In light of these developments we will voluntarily be closing on Sunday, March 15th until March 30th. All casino events are cancelled during this period."
During the temporary closure, Fitzpatrick said, all employees of Glacier Peaks Casino and Lil Peaks Casino will be placed on leave status and fully compensated, and the a "deep clean" of the facilities will be conducted.
(SATURDAY, MARCH 14) Governor Steve Bullock on Saturday said in a news release that two presumptively positive cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, have been confirmed in Missoula County. The two cases are a woman in her 30s, and a man in his 50s
No other information about the two patients has been released at this point. The tests, conducted by the DPHHS Public Health Laboratory, were confirmed Saturday evening. As is current standard, test results are considered presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The two Missoula County cases announced on Saturday bring the total number of cases of COVID-19 in Montana to six (see note below), after four were announced on Friday. There were four positive cases announced on Friday in the counties of Gallatin, Yellowstone, Silver Bow, and Broadwater.
- The Gallatin patient is a man in his 40s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel
- The Yellowstone patient is a woman in her 50s; recovering at home; rcquired through international travel
- The Silver Bow patient is a man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
- The Broadwater patient is a man in his 50s who sought care in Lewis and Clark County; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
The patients have been isolated in accordance with public health guidelines. People who came into close contact with them will be monitored for 14 days for fever and respiratory symptoms per CDC guidance. Public health officials are following up to learn more details about the two individual’s exposure risk, travel history, and to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been in close contact with the patients.
The City-County Health Department in Great Falls said on Saturday that all the COVID-19 tests that Cascade County sent to the state lab as of Friday, March 13, have come back negative. At this time, there are NO confirmed cases in Cascade County.
NOTE: In addition to the six confirmed cases actually IN Montana, there is a seventh Montanan confirmed to have COVID-19. That person, from Lake County, is a part time Montana resident with no documented exposures or close contacts in Montana, and was not tested in Montana. She was tested and diagnosed in Maryland, where she currently is residing.