GREAT FALLS — As of Wednesday morning (April 29), there have been a total of 451 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Montana, with no new cases reported since Tuesday. One new death was reported; the person was a Yellowstone County resident. The Yellowstone City-County Health Department in Billings said in a news release: "The man, in his 70s, died in a Yellowstone County hospital." No other details have been released.
- There have been a total of 382 recovered patients to date. The number of recoveries by county has not been released at this point.
- There have been 16 deaths in Montana to date. There have been six deaths in Toole County, two in Cascade County, two in Flathead County, two in Yellowstone County, and one each in Lincoln County, Madison County, Missoula County, and Gallatin County.
- There have now been 61 hospitalizations to date of COVID-19 patients in Montana; 5 of those are "active (current) hospitalizations."
- The DPHHS public health lab has completed 13,528 tests for COVID-19, including 337 tests since Tuesday's update.
- Click here to see the current total of confirmed and active cases by county
PHASED RE-OPENING: Governor Steve Bullock announced last 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plan to "re-open" Montana, as closures and restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 will be gradually rescinded.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" expired on Sunday, April 26, for individuals and Monday, April 27, for businesses. Retail businesses can become operational beginning on 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 were allowed to re-open on Sunday, April 26 in a manner consistent with social distancing between people who are not members of the same household.
The above is just a brief summary of key points; click here for more details of the "Re-opening The Big Sky" plan.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: On May 7th, all public schools will have the option to return to in-classroom teaching at the discretion of local school boards. Several school districts announced this week that they will not re-open classrooms for the remainder of the current school year, including Billings, Bozeman, Glasgow, Butte, Helena, and Whitefish.
- The Great Falls Public Schools District had originally planned to announce on Monday (May 4) whether classes will resume on campus, or remain virtual/online for the remainder of the school year. However, the Board of Trustees has announced a special meeting will be held at noon on Friday, May 1st, and we expect that they will make an announcement shortly after.
TOOLE COUNTY: Toole County confirmed its sixth COVID-19 death last 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: According to the City-County Health Department in Great Falls, there have been two COVID-19 deaths in Cascade County. The most recent was a man over the age of 65 whose death was reported on April 20th. There have been 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cascade County to date; 11 of those cases are now listed as recovered.
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.
Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
State of EducationFind ways to cope with the new normal around schools and celebrate students’ success in the age of Coronavirus.
We're OpenSupport local businesses doing their best to stay open and serve their customers during Covid.