MISSOULA — Tuesday’s announcement by Governor Greg Gianforte that 70 members of the Montana National Guard are being deployed to hospitals across the state comes as Montana sees almost 20 more patients hospitalized due to COVID since Monday - leading to 377 in the hospital at this time.
Montana also added nearly 1,200 additional COVID cases on Tuesday and remains just under 10,000 active cases. Fourteen additional deaths were also reported on Tuesday, moving the Montana death toll to 1,901. (MT COVID update, September 21)
Yellowstone County has more than 2,000 active cases while Missoula, Flathead, and Cascade counties are all over 1,000. Those four counties combined account for more than half of the active cases in the state.
Let's look back at COVID numbers in 2020 to see how they compare to where we are now. September 21st is the 264th day of the year and so far in 2021, Montana has reported 797 COVID-related deaths.
If we start on March 13, 2020 - the date of the first known cases in Montana - and fast forward 264 days, we land on December 11.
In that time period, Montana reported 713 COVID-related deaths, 84 fewer deaths than where we're at Tuesday for the year.
Overall, the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS) reports 1,104 Montanans died from COVID-19 in 2020. That's enough to make it the third leading cause of death in the state behind only heart disease and cancer.
The DPHHS website has county-specific data on vaccination rates, hospitalizations, new/total cases, and more.
Numbers also show 2020 was the first year on record that overall deaths exceeded births in Montana.