Updated COVID-19 model predicts fewer deaths in Montana than original estimate

Updated COVID-19 model predicts fewer deaths in Montana than original estimate
Posted at 1:48 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 19:41:02-04

The projection for Montana COVID-19 cases and hospital impact is looking better.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) at the University of Washington has scaled back the projected number of hospital beds needed and the number of COVID-19-related deaths in Montana.

This model is being used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force for national and statewide projections. It was designed to help hospitals and governments plan and give them an idea about resources they might need and when the peak of the virus may affect their community.

On Monday, the model shows the number of projected deaths in Montana falls dramatically from 268 to 22. It also shows the peak resource need for hospitals moved from April 26 up to April 13. The early projection showed Montana would come up short for number of ICU beds needed. The updated report shows that shortfall is no longer projected.

IHME reports it has been able to incorporate more data sources, including state government reporting from a substantially larger sample.

As for the peak forecast for the United States coming in the next couple of weeks, the IMHE model suggests April 15. However, that projection is heavily weighted toward the more populous areas that are expected to peak sooner. New York state, for instance, is forecast to peak around April 9. The current projection is for 81,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S.

The IHME reports projections are trending down for deaths and hospital resource needs across the country with a few exceptions. The peak date for hospital resource use remains April 15.

As of Monday morning (April 6), there have been a total of 299 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Montana, and six deaths (source/map). The sixth death was confirmed on Saturday by the Missoula City-County Health Department. The other five deaths have been in Toole County (3, see below), Lincoln County (1), and Madison County (1).

There have now been 24 hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in Montana. As of Monday morning, the DPHHS public health lab in Helena has completed 6,789 tests for COVID-19.

Bullock said on Friday that his original "stay at home" order - issued on March 26 and running through April 10 - will likely be extended next week through April 29.

Governor Steve Bullock said on Tuesday afternoon that 32 patients in Montana have recovered. No new numbers for recoveries have been released since then. Bullock said during a news conference on Friday that state officials are working to provide updated recovery numbers.

Click here for information about recoveries and why it is still difficult to provide accurate data.


  • Gallatin County - 116 Cases
  • Yellowstone County - 40 Cases
  • Flathead County - 26 Cases
  • Missoula County - 21 Cases
  • Toole County - 15 Cases
  • Lewis and Clark County - 14 Cases
  • Silver Bow County - 11 Cases
  • Cascade County - 11 Cases
  • Madison County - 9 Cases
  • Lincoln County - 7 Cases
  • Park County - 6 Cases
  • Broadwater County - 4 Cases
  • Lake County - 4 Cases
  • Deer Lodge County - 3 Cases
  • Jefferson County - 2 Cases
  • Ravalli County - 2 Cases
  • The following have one confirmed case each: Carbon County; Beaverhead County; Musselshell County; Meagher County; Roosevelt County; Hill County; Liberty County; Glacier County.

TOOLE COUNTY: According to the state COVID-19 website, there are now 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toole County. In addition, three of Montana's six COVID-19 deaths have been Toole County residents. Click here for more details about the situation in Toole County.

CASCADE COUNTY: As of Sunday evening, there are 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 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.

US/WORLD: According to Johns Hopkins University, the worldwide numbers as of Monday morning are: 1,289,380 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 70,590; and 270,372 patients have recovered. The U.S. numbers as of Monday morning are: 337,971 confirmed cases; 9,654 deaths; and 17,582 patients have recovered.