GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Transit announced on Monday that regular fixed bus service will be suspended effective Tuesday, March 17, and lasting until at least March 27.
GFT manager Jim Helgeson says that paratransit service WILL continue running for people who rely on it. Please call GFT at 406-727-0382 if you need more information or have questions.
The suspension of bus service is due to the public health precautions being taken by many governments, agencies, and businesses in response to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Bullock directs two-week closure of public K-12 schools in Montana
- Two COVID-19 cases confirmed in Missoula County; total in Montana is now six
- How the coronavirus closure will affect Great Falls Public Schools
- Officials in Cascade County address coronavirus concerns
- CDC: Cancel or postpone all events with more than 50 people for next 8 weeks
- St. Patrick's Day parade and other events canceled due to coronavirus
We will keep you updated as we get more information about the impacts of coronavirus across Montana.We do not have all of the information about how this will affect communities across the region in this developing situation, as new information is being released almost hourly from many sources; we are working diligently to get more information and will keep you updated as we get details. If you have a question about a specific event, agency, or business, we recommend that you call the organizer or organization directly.
As of Monday, March 16, DPHHS has tested a total of 204 people for COVID-19; six of those results have been positive. The state currently has the capacity to test approximately 850 more people, and anticipates receiving more tests from the CDC as needed. Click here to visit the DPHHS website. DPPHS says that COVID-19 testing is available 7 days a week; for information about testing, call 1-800-821-7284. Here is the information that has been publicly released about the six patients:
- Missoula County: woman in her 30s
- Missoula County: man in his 50s
- Gallatin County: man in his 40s; recovering at home; acquired through international travel
- Yellowstone County: woman in her 50s; recovering at home; rcquired through international travel
- Silver Bow County: man in his 50s; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
- Broadwater County: a man in his 50s who sought care in Lewis and Clark County; recovering at home; acquired domestically in affected areas out of state
In addition to the six confirmed cases actually IN Montana, there is a seventh Montanan confirmed to have COVID-19. That person, from Lake County, is a part time Montana resident with no documented exposures or close contacts in Montana, and was not tested in Montana. She was tested and diagnosed in Maryland, where she currently is residing.
The CDC has three levels to classify a potential case of COVID-19:
- Person Under Investigation (PUI): Any person who is under investigation for having the virus that causes COVID-19, or who was under investigation but tested negative for the virus.
- Presumptive Positive case of COVID-19: Anyone who has tested positive for the virus, but testing was conducted at the local or state level. Currently, presumptive positive cases must have samples undergo confirmatory testing at the CDC.
- Laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19: Anyone who has tested positive for the virus at the CDC laboratory.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, you can take the following steps to protect yourself and your family.
- To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, you can take the following steps to protect yourself and your family.
- Stay home if you’re sick,
- Cover your cough and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and wash your hands frequently
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), as of March 14, there are 1,629 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the nation. There have been 41 deaths, most of them in Washington. Click here for the latest information about COVID-19 at the CDC website.