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Record daily number 333 COVID-19 cases reported in Montana; active cases at 2,443

Record daily number 333 COVID-19 cases reported in Montana; active cases at 2,443

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Montana reported 333 COVID-19 cases Thursday morning, the highest number of cases reported in the state in a single day, according to numbers released by the state's Joint Information Center.

The 333 cases breaks the previous record set last Saturday, when 293 cases were reported. The state is on pace to also break its record-high number of total cases reported in a single week. That record was set last week.

Of counties adding cases Thursday, Yellowstone County added the most with 62 for an active case total of 689. That is down from the same time last week when the county had 810 active cases. Two weeks ago Thursday, the county had 720 active cases.

Aside from Yellowstone County, eight other counties had a double-digit number of cases reported Thursday morning. 

The new reports are reflected on the state's case mapping and information website and are based on data compiled by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. 

The state also reported another 4,358 tests completed for a total of 321,518 tests.

The statewide active case total is now 2,443 compared to 2,103 a week ago and 1,808 two weeks ago Thursday.

Statewide, at least 11,242 people have been confirmed to be infected by COVID-19 since March. Of those, 8,634 people are considered recovered.

Last Thursday, the state had 9,647 COVID-19 cases and 7,401 recoveries. Two weeks ago, Montana had 8,663 COVID-19 cases and 6,732 people considered recovered.

Earlier this week in a press call Jim Murphy, the head of the DPHHS communicable disease bureau, described last week's case growth as a "remarkable increase" in relation to what the state had previously seen with an average of about 800 cases reported a week from mid-July through August.

Case growth has increased as September has gone on and last week the state added more than 1,200 COVID-19 cases, which Murphy said was an all-time high. 

Stacey Anderson, the lead epidemiologist with the DPHHS communicable disease bureau said that cases were increasing across all age groups, with the greatest percentage of case increases in school age individuals. The age 20 through 39 group reported a 50% increase in cases when comparing the week ending Sept. 4 with the one ending Sept. 18, she said.

Anderson said some cases were related to Labor Day activities and that overall some of the new cases were tied to social events like parties, family gatherings and socializing at bars.

Congregate settings, including schools, have also had increased cases, she said.

Thursday's newly reported cases bring this week's total new cases reported from Sunday through Thursday to 1,088, which averages out to 217 cases a day. 

By Thursday last week Montana had reported a total of 728 new COVID-19 cases that week, for an average about 145 cases a day.

This week, the state is averaging 217 cases reported a day so far. 

If that average were to hold through Saturday, this week would mark a new all-time high in cases reported in a week in Montana. 

A weekly report provided by Gov. Steve Bullock's office earlier this week from the White House Coronavirus Task Force noted that Montana was in the red zone for cases because it had 101 or more new cases per 100,000 population.

Montana's number of new cases last week was 105 per 100,000 population, compared to a national average of 86 new cases per 100,000 population, according to the report

The same report, which was dated Sept. 20, calculated that the state had the 18th highest rate of case growth in the country over the previous week. The state was also rated in the report to be in the orange zone for its test positivity rate, which was estimated to be between 8% and 10%, or the seventh highest in the country.

Murphy, the DPHHS official, said that increased case growth in Deer Lodge, Rosebud, Flathead, Roosevelt, Missoula and Yellowstone County, accounted for 75% of the increase in reported cases last week. 

At least 16 Yellowstone County residents have died this month as a result of COVID-19. That figure does not take into account residents of other counties who may have died in Yellowstone County hospitals. Yellowstone County's hospitals serve a region with a population of about 650,000 people, the county's health officer John Felton has previously said. 

That region includes Big Horn and Rosebud counties, which have both reported the deaths of multiple residents this month.

No additional deaths were reported in Montana Thursday, keeping the total number of people who have died in the state because of COVID-19 at 165. 

Active hospitalizations Thursday across the state were at 128. A total of 650 people have been hospitalized in Montana since March. 

Of those 128 people hospitalized, 61 were in Yellowstone County hospitals. Among people hospitalized in Yellowstone County on Thursday 29 were county residents.

Of the people hospitalized Thursday in Yellowstone County due to COVID-19 a total of 18 were being cared for in intensive care units and eight people were intubated.

On Sept. 7, Yellowstone County COVID-19 hospitalizations hit an all-time high when 84 people were hospitalized. Felton said Thursday morning during a county health board meeting that "when we were having larger hospital numbers, about half of those individuals were from Rosebud or Big Horn counties."

An epidemiological analysis and review of COVID-19 cases published earlier this week by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services's communicable disease epidemiology section offered some insights into what is behind COVID-19 cases in the state. 

The analysis relied on COVID-19 data that was available as of Sept. 18. 

One section of the report focused on the route of transmission for 4,299 COVID-19 cases in Montana. For another 5,864 cases, or 57% of the cases in the state at the time of the DPHHS analysis, the data was unavailable and the cases were currently under investigation, according to the report.

The most common route identified in the report is "clusters," which account for 31% of the cases in the state. Cluster transmission means a case is part of a known cluster of cases.

Contact with someone not in a person's household or in a known cluster is the second leading route of transmission, accounting for 24% of cases for which data is available. Household contacts make up 20% of case transmission. Community transmission makes up 18% of cases. In those instances a case could not be linked to other known cases.

Traveling out of state during the incubation period is associated with 6% of the known routes of transmission. Health care-associated infections account for less than 1% of transmissions, according to DPHHS.

The extent to which those routes of transmission drive cases varies on a county by county basis. The analysis broke down routes of transmission in seven counties with more than 500 reported cases. 

Those counties are Big Horn County, Cascade, Flathead, Gallatin, Missoula, Rosebud and Yellowstone. 

Clusters have led to nearly two-thirds of cases in Cascade County and more than 40% of cases in Big Horn and Flathead Counties, according to the report.

"Contact and household contact investigations also significantly impact case counts in Rosebud County," the report says. "Contacts also contribute to more than 40% of new cases in Big Horn, Missoula and Yellowstone Counties, and nearly 40% in Gallatin County."

The report goes on to describe how community transmission is responsible for 28% of cases analyzed in Gallatin County, 20% in Yellowstone County and 19% of cases in Missoula County.

Travel-associated transmission was found to be the cause of 14% of Missoula County cases and 13% of Flathead County cases.

For all other counties in the state that had less than 500 total cases, nearly half of the cases were connected to contacts or household contacts, and nearly one third of cases were part of clusters. About 17% of cases were acquired by community transmission and 7% were "likely travel related," the report says.

Flathead County reported 11 cases for 278 active cases, which is the second most active cases in the state of any county. Last Thursday the state reported 140 active cases in Flathead County.

Cascade County reported 20 cases for 238 active cases. A week ago Cascade County had 225 active cases. Two weeks ago it had 133 active cases.

Roosevelt County reported 56 cases for 205 active cases. Last Thursday the county had 62 active cases. The week before that on Wednesday the county had 25 active cases. Overall, Roosevelt County has had 269 total cases.

Rosebud County reported 16 cases for 164 active cases. Last Thursday the county had 215 active cases. Two weeks ago it had 254 active cases.

Missoula County was initially reported Thursday to have 46 cases for 143 active. Updated numbers released by the Missoula City-County Health Department later in the day added another 62 COVID-19 cases to the county's total for 210 active cases. Of the active cases in the county as of Wednesday, 56 of the people infected were either a student, faculty member or staff member at the University of Montana.

Last Thursday it had 78 active cases. Two weeks ago it had 36 active cases.

Gallatin County reported 35 cases for 118 active cases. Last Thursday it had 47 active cases. Two weeks ago it also had 47 active cases.

Big Horn County reported eight cases for 107 active. A week ago Thursday it had 134 active cases. Two weeks ago it had 106 active cases.

Other counties for which the state reported new cases Thursday include:

  • Glacier with 19 (65 active)
  • Valley with nine (14 active)
  • Lewis and Clark with six (41 active)
  • Lake with five (26 active)
  • Madison with four (three active)
  • Beaverhead with three (five active)
  • Fergus with three (11 active)
  • Hill with three (36 active)
  • Powder River with three (four active)
  • Ravalli with three (13 active)
  • Toole with three (eight active)
  • Carter with two (three active)
  • Choteau with two (13 active)
  • Liberty with two (five active)
  • Powell with two (two active)
  • Sweet Grass with two (six active)
  • Custer with one (25 active)
  • Garfield with one (two active)
  • Jefferson with one (17 active)
  • Lincoln with one (four active)
  • Park with one (10 active)
  • Richland with one (five active)
  • Sanders with one (three active)
  • Silver Bow with one (70 active)

According to the state's Joint Information Center, county, gender, age range and date reported breakdown for Thursday's cases is as follows:

County

Gender

Age Range

Date Reported

Beaverhead

M

10-19

09/23/2020

Beaverhead

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Beaverhead

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Big Horn

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Big Horn

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Big Horn

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Big Horn

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Big Horn

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Big Horn

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Big Horn

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Big Horn

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Carter

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Carter

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Cascade

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

80-89

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Cascade

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Cascade

F

70-79

09/23/2020

Cascade

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Cascade

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Chouteau

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Chouteau

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Custer

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Fergus

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Fergus

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Fergus

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Flathead

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Flathead

F

80-89

09/23/2020

Flathead

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Flathead

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Flathead

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Flathead

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Flathead

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Flathead

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Flathead

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Flathead

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Flathead

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

10-19

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Gallatin

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Gallatin

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Garfield

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Glacier

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Glacier

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Glacier

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Glacier

M

80-89

09/23/2020

Glacier

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Hill

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Hill

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Hill

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Jefferson

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Lake

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Lake

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Lake

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Lake

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Lake

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Lewis and Clark

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Lewis and Clark

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Lewis and Clark

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Lewis and Clark

F

10-19

09/23/2020

Lewis and Clark

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Lewis and Clark

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Liberty

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Liberty

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Lincoln

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Madison

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Madison

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Madison

F

70-79

09/23/2020

Madison

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

70-79

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

10-19

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

10-19

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

10-19

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

70-79

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

10-19

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

80-89

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

10-19

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Missoula

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Park

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Powder River

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Powder River

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Powder River

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Powell

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Powell

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Ravalli

F

10-19

09/23/2020

Ravalli

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Ravalli

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Richland

M

10-19

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

70-79

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

70-79

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

80-89

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

80-89

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

0-9

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

10-19

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

10-19

09/23/2020

Roosevelt

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Rosebud

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Rosebud

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Rosebud

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Rosebud

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Rosebud

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

10-19

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Rosebud

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Rosebud

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Rosebud

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Sanders

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Silver Bow

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Sweet Grass

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Sweet Grass

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Toole

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Toole

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Toole

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Valley

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Valley

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Valley

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Valley

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Valley

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Valley

F

80-89

09/23/2020

Valley

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Valley

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Valley

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

70-79

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

80-89

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

40-49

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

0-9

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

40-49

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

60-69

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

50-59

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

30-39

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

10-19

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

60-69

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

80-89

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

20-29

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

50-59

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

10-19

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

M

80-89

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

70-79

09/23/2020

Yellowstone

F

40-49

09/23/2020

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