Montana COVID update (August 25, 2021)

Posted at 10:40 AM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 12:55:36-04

GREAT FALLS — There were 604 new COVID-19 cases reported within the last 24 hours in Montana, with 4,109 total active cases in the state as of Wednesday, August 25. The last time the state had more than 4,000 active cases was January 27, 2021, according to MTN data.

Counties with the most active cases as of Wednesday:

  • Cascade County: 106 New; 743 Active
  • Yellowstone County: 95 New; 671 Active
  • Flathead County: 70 New; 625 Active
  • Missoula County: 79 New; 544 Active
  • Lewis & Clark County: 44 New; 222 Active
  • Gallatin County: 41 New; 196 Active

There were five new deaths reported on Wednesday; the total number of Montanans who have died due to COVID is now 1,773, according to the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS).

The number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID is 241. The cumulative number of hospitalizations in Montana due to the virus is 6,229, an increase of eight since Tuesday. To date, roughly 1 in 20 (5.0%) reported COVID cases in the state have resulted in a hospitalization.

There have been 124,278 cumulative cases of COVID in Montana. The cumulative number of recoveries is now 118,396. There were 5,428 new COVID tests administered since the last DPHHS report.

An estimated 458,497 Montanans are now considered fully vaccinated, about 50% of eligible residents. The total number of doses administered is 934,039. If you want to get vaccinated, contact your county health department, or click here.

Information from the DPHHS at this point does not include data on whether new cases occurred among vaccinated or unvaccinated people.

The information above is from the DPHHS website and is current as of Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

During a Tuesday news conference in Helena, Governor Greg Gianforte said there’s never been a better time for Montanans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gianforte encourages vaccination

Gianforte was joined by Bekki Kirsch-Wehner, chief of the state Communicable Disease Control & Prevention Bureau; and Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek, the interim State Medical Officer.

They highlighted data showing that unvaccinated people are at greater risk from the Delta variant of the coronavirus. He also noted that there has been a rise in Delta variant cases in states with and without mask mandates.

The governor reaffirmed his stance that the vaccine and/or masking will not be mandated, and he does not support another lockdown.

“The State of Montana will not impose a mask mandate, and the State of Montana will not impose a vaccine mandate,” said Gianforte. “As I always have, I trust Montanans to make decisions that are best for their own health and the health of their loved ones.”

Gianforte also praised Monday's news that the federal Food & Drug Administration has given formal approval to the Pfizer vaccine.

However, he said that people who are are still hesitant about getting vaccinated aren’t likely to be convinced by public figures, including himself. He urged them to talk to trusted healthcare providers. “It’s unfortunate that all of this has been politicized,” said Gianforte. “Politics shouldn’t be part of this.”

DPHHS director Adam Meier said earlier this month that hospitalization data from June 5 to July 30 shows that 89% of Montanans who were hospitalized due to COVID had not received the COVID vaccine. The data includes 358 hospitalizations of Montanans during this time frame. The hospitalizations included an age range from 1 to 97, with a median age of 64.

“This data illustrates just how effective the COVID-19 vaccine is in preventing serious illness when you consider how far we’ve come since the vaccine first became available,” Meier said. “The data is also a reminder of how important it is to get vaccinated. This is now a vaccine-preventable disease, and the last thing we want to see are more cases and hospitalizations. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best tool we have to prevent serious illness and hospitalization. The fall and winter months are just around the corner. Now is the time to get the vaccine.”