Gallatin County reports first COVID-19 death

Posted at 4:29 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 18:42:50-04

GREAT FALLS — Gallatin County has reported its first death due to COVID-19, bringing the state-wide total to 15.

The Gallatin City-County Health Department said the patient was a man in his 60s who had been hospitalized. A news release from the agency said no further details would be released out of respect for the family.

Gallatin County has recorded more COVID-19 cases than any other county in Montana; the number of confirmed cases to date in Gallatin County stands at 146.

To date, there have been six COVID-19 deaths in Toole County, two in Cascade County, two in Flathead County, and one each in Lincoln County, Madison County, Missoula County, Yellowstone County, and Gallatin County.

“We send our deepest condolences to this man’s family and friends,” said Matt Kelley, Gallatin City-County Health Department Health Officer. “We ask that Gallatin County citizens continue taking measures and following guidelines to keep our community safe. The virus remains dangerous and is still in our community. We must stay vigilant to protect ourselves, our families, our friends, and our most vulnerable neighbors.

Governor Steve Bullock said in a news release: “Each loss of life in Montana serves as a reminder of just how serious this disease is, particularly for those most vulnerable. As our hearts go out to the family and friends of this Montanan, we must reaffirm our continued vigilance in keeping our fellow Montanans healthy and safe.”

As of Monday morning (April 27), there have been a total of 449 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Montana, an increase of one since Sunday. The new case is a Yellowstone County woman in her 60s.

  • There have been a total of 352 recovered patients to date. The number of recoveries by county has not been released at this point.
  • There have now been 61 hospitalizations to date of COVID-19 patients in Montana; 11 of those are considered "active (current) hospitalizations."
  • The DPHHS public health lab has completed 13,033 tests for COVID-19, including 171 tests since Sunday's update.
  • Click here to see the current total of confirmed 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plan to "re-open" Montana, as closures and restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 will be gradually rescinded.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.
  • 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.

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.