Ask a physician your COVID-19 questions

Posted at 4:24 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 20:48:29-04

GREAT FALLS — As we continue to feel the impacts of COVID-19 all around us nationally and here at home, we know there are many questions that come to mind, and we want to give you an opportunity to ask the questions that you feel you haven’t gotten an answer to yet.

Anne Stevens, an infectious disease physician, at Benefis Health Systems, has agreed to answer your questions. We want you to submit any questions you might have in regard to COVID-19.

We hope this will help with understanding what we do know about the virus and how we can all stay a little safer.

If you would like to submit a question, send an email to Please use the subject “Benefis Q&A” so that we can ensure we catch all of the questions we receive.

In your email also indicate if you would like your name shown, or if you would like to remain anonymous.

Please note: Not all questions will be able to be answered depending on how many we receive as well as relevance to COVID-19. If questions are received after 5:00 p.m. on on Tuesday, April 7, they may not be included in this Q&A session. We look forward to seeing your questions.

These are the symptoms to look for in the case of the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19:

  • COMMON COLD: Sneezing, Cough, Stuffy Nose, Sore Throat
  • FLU: Fever, Aches, Chills, Fatigue, Sneezing, Cough, Headache
  • COVID-19: Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath

There are overlapping symptoms, but the most significant difference is the respiratory aspect of shortness of breath.

If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, call one of the numbers listed below (or your nearest healthcare facility or provider) before going in to any facility.

  • BENEFIS: 455-2500
  • GREAT FALLS CLINIC: 454-7275
  • ALLUVION: 454-6973

As of Monday morning (April 6), there have been a total of 299 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Montana, and six deaths (source/map). The sixth death was confirmed on Saturday by the Missoula City-County Health Department. The other five deaths have been in Toole County (3, see below), Lincoln County (1), and Madison County (1).

There have now been 24 hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in Montana. As of Monday morning, the DPHHS public health lab in Helena has completed 6,789 tests for COVID-19.

Bullock said on Friday that his original "stay at home" order - issued on March 26 and running through April 10 - will likely be extended next week through April 29.

Governor Steve Bullock said on Tuesday afternoon that 32 patients in Montana have recovered. No new numbers for recoveries have been released since then. Bullock said during a news conference on Friday that state officials are working to provide updated recovery numbers.

Click here for information about recoveries and why it is still difficult to provide accurate data.


  • Gallatin County - 116 Cases
  • Yellowstone County - 40 Cases
  • Flathead County - 26 Cases
  • Missoula County - 21 Cases
  • Toole County - 15 Cases
  • Lewis and Clark County - 14 Cases
  • Silver Bow County - 11 Cases
  • Cascade County - 11 Cases
  • Madison County - 9 Cases
  • Lincoln County - 7 Cases
  • Park County - 6 Cases
  • Broadwater County - 4 Cases
  • Lake County - 4 Cases
  • Deer Lodge County - 3 Cases
  • Jefferson County - 2 Cases
  • Ravalli County - 2 Cases

The following have one confirmed case each: Carbon County; Beaverhead County; Musselshell County; Meagher County; Roosevelt County; Hill County; Liberty County; Glacier County.
TOOLE COUNTY: According to the state COVID-19 website, there are now 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toole County. In addition, three of Montana's six COVID-19 deaths have been Toole County residents. Click here for more details about the situation in Toole County.

CASCADE COUNTY: As of Sunday evening, there are 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases. They are 2 women between the ages of 20-29; 1 man between 30-39; 1 man between 40-49; 3 women and 2 men between 50-59; 1 man between 60-69; and 1 man between 80-89. KRTV has confirmed that at least one of those patients was hospitalized in Great Falls. The City-County Health Department in Great Falls continues working with the patients to determine who they may have been in direct contact with, and communicating with anyone who may have been exposed. The CCHD says that due to federal privacy laws (HIPAA), they will not release any other information about the patients, including where they live.

US/WORLD: According to Johns Hopkins University, the worldwide numbers as of Monday morning are: 1,289,380 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 70,590; and 270,372 patients have recovered. The U.S. numbers as of Monday morning are: 337,971 confirmed cases; 9,654 deaths; and 17,582 patients have recovered.