GREAT FALLS — The Toole County Health Department in Shelby confirmed on Wednesday the county's third death due to COVID-19, bringing the state total to five deaths so far, with at least 208 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Governor Steve Bullock on Tuesday said that 32 COVID-19 patients have recovered since coronavirus was confirmed in Montana just over two weeks ago.
The Toole County Health Department said that is has also confirmed a sixth case of COVID-19 in the county, and said in a news release: "We know this virus is deadly and now that reality has hit home in a terrible, tragic way. You as a community need to come together and stop this by following guidance provided. We are working diligently around the clock to stop the spread and keep our community informed."
According to the DPHHS website, the six confirmed COVID-19 cases in Toole County are: female between ages of 10-19; female between 40-49; male and female between 79-79; female between 89-89; female between 90-99.
The health department has not released any other information about the most recent death; we will update you as we get more information.
As of Wednesday morning, here are the counties with the most confirmed cases in Montana: Gallatin 76; Yellowstone 32; Missoula 14; Flathead 14; Lewis & Clark 12; Butte-Silver Bow 10; Cascade 9; Toole 6; Madison 6; Lincoln 5; Lake 4; Park 4; Broadwater 3; Deer Lodge 3; Jefferson 2.
The first COVID-19 death was 77-year old Lincoln County resident Jim Tomlin, whose death was reported on Friday. On Sunday afternoon, the death of a Madison County resident was announced. On Monday, officials in Toole County confirmed two deaths attributed to COVID-19. On Tuesday, Governor Steve Bullock said there has been a fifth death; we learned on Wednesday that he was referencing this latest Toole County death.
As of Wednesday morning, the DPHHS public health lab in Helena has completed 4,918 tests for COVID-19. Officials know that the number of actual cases is undoubtedly much higher, and are continuing to test in accordance with CDC guidelines. The "recovery rate" for Montana has not yet been determined, as COVID-19 is still relatively new in our state and there is not enough data to calculate an accurate rate at this point.
Officials in Montana are keeping a list of confirmed cases in the Treasure State on an updated map and website - click here to visit the site. Each county with confirmed cases can be clicked, which shows how many cases there are, and provides the gender and the age range for all cases. County health departments and the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services release data by county only, and do not provide information on which towns the patients live in. In some cases, patients or family members have chosen to publicly release information.
NOTE: This article initially reported six deaths. The Madison County Health Department said Johns Hopkins University had mistakenly reported an additional death in Madison County. The Johns Hopkins database has since been corrected.
CASCADE COUNTY CASES: There are now NINE confirmed cases in Cascade County, an increase of one from previous reports: two women in their 20s; one man in his 30s; one man in his 40; two women and two men in their 50; one man in his 80s. The City-County Health Department in Great Falls continue working to identify anyone that these patients may have come into contact with, and trying to contact anyone who may have been exposed. The City-County Health Department in Great Falls has declined to release any other details of the confirmed cases due to federal privacy laws such as HIPAA. There is no prohibition on a patient (or surviving family member) from publicly releasing information about his or her case.
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