71 cases of COVID-19 in Montana (Thursday morning, March 26)

Posted: 8:29 AM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 14:00:56-04
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GREAT FALLS — As of Thursday morning (March 26), there are 71 cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Montana, an increase of 18 since Wednesday morning. The new total includes cases reported on Wednesday in the following counties: Hill, Glacier, Lincoln, and Cascade.

Here is the current total by county: Gallatin 24; Yellowstone 13; Missoula 6; Flathead 5; Cascade 5; Butte-Silver Bow 4; Lewis & Clark 4; Madison 2; Broadwater 2; Ravalli 1; Roosevelt 1; Jefferson 1; Hill 1; Glacier 1; Lincoln 1.

Public health officials have talked with all of the COVID-19 patients to determine their travel history and possible physical contacts, and are working to communicate with anyone that these patients have had direct contact with since their exposure.

On Thursday, the Toole County Public Health Department said that it confirmed a case of COVID-19 in a Toole County resident. The agency said: "The individual is hospitalized, in another county, and all appropriate precautions are in place to maintain the safety of the patient and the staff." We contacted the agency to find out if the Toole County resident is the patient identified in Glacier County on Wednesday; Glacier County health officials noted their case was an out-of-county resident. The TCPHD declined to confirm or deny the question, citing patient privacy laws.

The TCPHD also said they are working with all parties involved to complete a detailed interview to find out more about the case, and that anyone identified as a direct contact with the patient in recent days will be called by the Health Department for more information and how to proceed.

There has been one hospitalization of a COVID-19 patient in Montana, according to the state Coronavirus Task Force. There have not been any deaths in Montana attributed to COVID-19 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.

As of Wednesday morning, the DPHHS public health lab in Helena has completed 2,193 tests for COVID-19; that includes 112 tests conducted since Tuesday morning.

Governor Steve Bullock said on Tuesday that his school closure order, which was set to expire Friday, has been extended to April 10. His order to close all non-essential businesses, including bars, casinos, and gyms, was also extended to April 10. Restaurants remain prohibited from allowing people to eat in their dining rooms, but can continue to provide take-out, curb-side, and delivery service (see here). Click here for more details about the restrictions. Montana is not on a "stay at home" order at this time, unlike several other states, including Idaho.