Governor provides update on COVID-19 in Montana (April 3)

Posted at 10:58 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 14:29:13-04

GREAT FALLS — Governor Steve Bullock is conducting a news conference at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 3, to provide an update on Montana's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch in the video player below:

As of Friday morning (April 3), there have been a total of 243 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Montana, and five deaths.

Among the new cases reported since Thursday is a Glacier County woman. The Glacier County Health Department said on Thursday evening: "The individual is a female in her 40’s. Due to patient privacy rights, no other information will be released at this time."

Governor Steve Bullock said on Tuesday afternoon that 32 patients in Montana have recovered. No new numbers for recoveries have been released since then. There have now been 24 hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in Montana. As of Thursday morning, the DPHHS public health lab in Helena has completed 5,576 tests for COVID-19.

The first COVID-19 death in Montana was Lincoln County resident Jim Tomlin, whose death was reported on Friday. On Sunday, the death of a Madison County resident was announced. On Monday, officials in Toole County confirmed two deaths attributed to COVID-19. On Tuesday, Governor Steve Bullock said there has been a fifth death; we learned on Wednesday that he was referring to this latest Toole County death.

Here are the counties in Montana with the most cases as of Friday morning: Gallatin County - 93 Cases; Yellowstone County - 36 Cases; Flathead County - 18 Cases; Missoula County - 17 Cases; Lewis and Clark County - 13 Cases; Silver Bow County - 11 Cases; Cascade County - 11 Cases; Madison County - 6 Cases; Park County - 6 Cases; Toole County - 6 Cases; Lincoln County - 6 Cases; Lake County - 4 Cases; Deer Lodge County - 3 Cases; Broadwater County - 3 Cases

Officials know that the number of actual cases is much higher, and are continuing to test in accordance with CDC guidelines. The "recovery rate" for Montana has not yet been determined, as COVID-19 is still relatively new in our state and there is not enough data to calculate an accurate rate at this point.

Officials in Montana are keeping a list of confirmed cases in the Treasure State on an updated map and website - click here to visit the site. Each county with confirmed cases can be clicked, which shows how many cases there are, and provides the gender and the age range for all cases. County health departments and the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services release data by county only, and do not provide information on which towns the patients live in. In some cases, patients or family members have chosen to publicly release information.

As of Friday morning, there are 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cascade County. 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.

Toole County civic leaders in Shelby plan to release more information on Friday about COVID-19 cases in their community. The unified statement will come from city and county leaders along with hospital and nursing home officials. Three of Montana's five confirmed COVID-19 deaths have been in Toole County; as of Friday morning, Toole County has reported six confirmed cases of COVID-19.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the worldwide numbers as of Friday morning are: 1,033,478 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 54,369 deaths; and 219,019 patients have recovered. The U.S. numbers as of Friday morning are: 245,601 confirmed cases; 6,058 deaths; and 9,311 patients have recovered.