GREAT FALLS — Governor Steve Bullock on Wednesday morning said that two new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Montana. Both patients are men in their 20s from Gallatin County.
The tests, conducted by the DPHHS Public Health Laboratory, were confirmed Wednesday morning. State and local public health laboratories are no longer required to send “presumptive positive” samples to the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmation. From now on, respiratory samples positive for SARS-CoV2 in a state and public-health laboratory will be considered “positive” with no need for further testing.
DPHHS and the county health department is following up to learn more details about the patients' exposure risk and travel history, and to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been in close contact with them. All patients will be isolated or quarantined in accordance with public health guidelines. People who came into close contact with the individuals will be monitored for 14 days for fever and respiratory symptoms per CDC guidance.
There are now 10 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Montana. Here is the publicly-released information about them:
- Gallatin County (3): man in his 40s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel; 2 men in their 20s
- Missoula County (3): man in his 50s, woman in her 30s; man in his 20s
- Yellowstone County (2): woman in her 50s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel; woman in her 20s
- Butte-Silver Bow County: man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
- Broadwater County: man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Great Falls or Cascade County. KRTV is aware of concerns in the community about who should be tested and who is able to get tested, and are working to get answers from public health officials.
According to DPHHS, the number of people tested in Montana as of March 18 is 509; 499 of those tests were negative, and 10 positive. According to the CDC, as of March 17, there have been 4,226 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and 75 deaths.
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NOTE: In addition to the confirmed cases actually IN Montana, there is another Montanan confirmed to have COVID-19. That person, from Lake County, is a part-time Montana resident currently in Maryland 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.