GREAT FALLS — As of Thursday morning (April 23), there have been a total of 442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Montana, an increase of three since Wednesday. The new cases are two in Yellowstone County, and one in Gallatin County.
- There have been 14 deaths in Montana to date. There have been six deaths in Toole County, two in Cascade County, two in Flathead County, and one each in Lincoln County, Madison County, Missoula County, and Yellowstone County.
- There have been a total of 306 recovered patients to date. The number of recoveries by county has not been released at this point.
- There have now been 59 hospitalizations to date of COVID-19 patients in Montana; 13 of those are considered "active (current) hospitalizations."
- The DPHHS public health lab has completed 11,875 tests for COVID-19, including 292 tests since Wednesday's update.
- Click here to see the current total of confirmed cases by county
PHASED RE-OPENING: Governor Steve Bullock announced on Wednesday a three-phase plan to "re-open" Montana, as closures and restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 will be gradually rescinded. Among the highlights of the plan:
- The "stay at home order" will expire on April 26 for individuals and April 27 for businesses. Retail businesses can become operational on or after April 27 if they can adhere to requirements to limit capacity and maintain strict physical distancing.
- Restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries can begin providing some in-establishment services beginning May 4. Click here for more details.
- Businesses where groups gather without the ability to social distance including movie theaters, gyms, and other places of assembly remain closed.
- Places of worship can become operational on April 26 in a manner consistent with social distancing between people who are not members of the same household.
- On May 7, all schools will have the option to return to in-classroom teaching delivery at the discretion of local school boards. The Great Falls Public School District has not yet decided if schools will re-open; click here for details.
The above information is just a brief summary of key points; click here for more details of the "Re-opening The Big Sky" plan.
TOOLE COUNTY: Toole County confirmed its sixth COVID-19 death on Wednesday. To date, there have been 29 confirmed cases in Toole County, and 17 patients are now listed as recovered. On a per-capita basis, Toole County has been hit harder than any other county in Montana by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read more.
CASCADE COUNTY: The City-County Health Department in Great Falls said on Monday that a second Cascade County resident has died due to COVID-19. The person was a man over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions, according to a news release from the CCHD. There have been 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cascade County to date.
PROTEST: Several hundred people gathered in Helena on Sunday to protest COVID-19 restrictions and closures; click here to read more.
THE REBOUND: MONTANA: We know the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our community. To keep you and your family informed as we move forward, we're beginning a new series of reports. They are stories that will help all of us navigate through these uncertain times. In the coming weeks and months, we'll be focusing on “The Rebound: Montana.” It is a series of reports, videos, and information that show our commitment to stories that will help you as our communities begin to rebound - from what you'll need to know when it's time to go back to work, to how those in the community continue to step up and help others.