GREAT FALLS — The City-County Health Department in Great Falls announced on Friday evening that there have been seven deaths due to COVID-19 since November 3rd; there have now been 42 deaths in Cascade County.
The CCHD said that seven people were:
- a woman in her 50s
- a woman in her 70s
- a man in his 70s
- a woman in her 80s
- three men in their 80s
CCHD Health Officer Trisha Gardner said in a news release: “I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of these individuals. We are using every available resource to slow the spread and prevent more deaths like these.”
Gardner said that COVID cases in Cascade County - and deaths - have been increasing very rapidly in recent weeks, and that the influx of new cases has overwhelmed the local public health system. As of today, several hundred cases have yet to be assigned to case investigators and contact tracers, and the backlog grows every day. Case investigation and contact tracing are time-consuming processes and the CCHD staff is working as quickly as they can, seven days a week, but at this point delays are unavoidable and significant.
Gardner said that they have hired additional contact tracing staff and are continually looking for ways to improve, and the CCHD is looking forward to the arrival next week of a team from the CDC to "examine our processes and help us find places to streamline, give us ideas on additional technology that can improve our response, and simplify data entry and management."
She said that the average daily case rate in Cascade County is now at 99/100,000 (week ending 11/04/2020), an increase from 64/100,000 the previous week. At the beginning of September, Cascade County’s rate was at 14/100,000.
There were 986 new cases and 11 new deaths added to the total on the Montana COVID-19 tracking site on Friday morning; the data below is from the official Montana website on November 6:
- HOSPITALIZATIONS: There are 437 current hospitalizations, and a cumulative total of 1,447 hospitalizations.
- DEATHS: The cumulative number of deaths in Montana is now 418.
- ACTIVE CASES: There are 13,921 active COVID-19 cases in Montana.
- CASES & RECOVERIES: There have been 36,968 cumulative cases, with 23,608 people listed as recovered.
- TESTING: There were 3,572 completed tests, for a cumulative state-wide total of 523,596.
The counties reporting the largest number of new cases are Cascade with 147, Yellowstone with 105, and Gallatin with 98. Numbers reported by the state each day occasionally differ from those reported by county public health departments due to periodic lag times in reporting data to the state. We encourage people to check the official website and/or Facebook page of their respective county health department for any information that is not yet included in the state's daily updates. Based on data from the state and county health departments, MTN News is reporting the following:
- Deaths: 464
- Total Cases: 38,246
- Active: 12,600
- Recoveries: 25,194
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The CCHD provided the following information about slowing the spread of coronavirus:
It is crucial for those that have been identified as a case or a contact to a case to do the following:
- If you are positive for COVID-19, isolate at home. Notify everyone you were in contact with for 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or 48 hours prior to test date.
- If you have been told that you are a contact, quarantine at home for 2 weeks from the time you were exposed.
Additionally, continue to take all preventative measures:
- Stay home when you are ill
- Keep distance between you and others
- Wear a mask around others
- Wash your hands
- Clean commonly touched surfaces
It is to the benefit of every community member that businesses and individuals continue to take prevention seriously and do everything they can to curb the spread of this virus. Known prevention measures include:
- Staying home when you are sick and getting tested if symptoms are consistent with COVID-19
- Isolating if you are positive
- Quarantining if you have had close contact with a positive case
- Limiting interactions with others and thinking critically about the necessity of engaging in certain events/outings/gatherings
- Social distancing wherever possible
- Universal masking and proper mask wearing
- Good sanitation practices and hand washing
Together we can make an impact.