New Cascade County COVID restrictions take effect

Posted at 8:19 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 08:43:19-05

GREAT FALLS — The tightened COVID-19 restrictions the Cascade City-County Board of Health voted in favor of on Wednesday took effect Sunday, November 1.

The spread rate for new cases in Cascade County currently sits at 64 per 100,000 people. Until new cases in Cascade County drop to 25 or fewer per 100,000 people for four weeks, the following restrictions will remain in place:

  • All in-person gatherings, indoors and outdoors, are now capped at 50 people regardless of social distancing or whether the events are indoors or outdoors. The previous limit was 250 people for indoor events and 500 for outdoor events. There are exemptions for schools, polling places and places of worship. For schools, there is no change from the Governor’s Directive, which exempts local school districts, school boards and all school-related activities. Polling places still require masks and social distancing. Weekly worship Services in churches remain at 75% occupancy unless social distancing cannot be maintained. Childcare facilities are also exempt from this.
  • Capacity at bars, restaurants, casinos, cafes, coffee houses, brew pubs, taverns, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, gyms, and movie theaters is now limited to 50 percent. There is an exemption for food service establishments that serve a population which depends on that establishment for their sole source of food, such as school cafeterias, hospital and healthcare facilities, and crisis shelters.

Face coverings are still required in public places, per the governor's mandate earlier this year.

On Sunday, Cascade County reported 1,253 active cases, and 30 deaths from COVID-19 to date.

It's important to note that not every person who tests positive actually becomes ill or exhibits symptoms. Many do not; of those who do become sick, some experience mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization. Others, however, do require hospitalization, as noted in the daily update on the number of people hospitalized. However, every person who tests positive for COVID-19 has the potential to spread the virus to other people, including family members and friends, which is why public health officials continue to encourage everyone to wear a mask and maintain at least the recommended six feet of "social distance" when in public.

The federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released data in late August which emphasizes that people with contributing or underlying medical conditions are at much greater risk of dying from COVID-19. Click here to read more. The CDC also recently released an update to their research into fatality rates associated with COVID-19. A summary of COVID-19 survival rates is shown below; the summary is one of five based on several scenarios. The CDC data and scenarios can be found here.

COVID-19 Survival Rates

  • Age 0-19: 99.997%
  • Age 20-49: 99.98%
  • Age 50-69: 99.5%
  • Age 70+: 94.6%

The CDC says the scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning, and are not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19. The parameter values in each scenario will be updated and augmented over time, as the agency learns more about the epidemiology of COVID-19. The update from September 10th is based on data received by the CDC through August 8.