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Montana reports 201 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths
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Montana reports 201 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths

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Montana reported 201 new cases of COVID-19, and the deaths of two people in an update Thursday to the state’s case mapping and tracking website.

The nearly 234,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Montana have led to 76,880 of its residents being fully vaccinated, but the two deaths bring the statewide total since the start of the pandemic to 1,350. The two people were residents of Ravalli and Yellowstone counties.

Since the middle of February, the 7-day rolling average of new daily cases has dropped below 200 for the first time since Sept. 2020, according to data compiled by the New York Times. In the span of a week, the state has administered 35,723 doses of one of two available COVID-19 vaccines.

The number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 dropped to 75, down from 97 the previous day, according to a snapshot reported published by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services on Wednesday. Of those hospitalizations, 14 were in intensive care unit beds in hospitals throughout the state. Seven of the state’s 10 largest hospitals reported having limited bed space. St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings reported more than 90% of its beds occupied, with 13 filled with COVID-19 patients.

Since the spring of last year, 99,445 Montana residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of people considered recovered has reached 96,178. Those who have recovered have met the standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to safely leave isolation without spreading the virus. That does not necessarily mean that they do not still experience some of the symptoms of COVID-19.

The state completed another 7,249 tests for the virus, bring the total number of tests since March 2020 to 1,063,419.

Counties added the following number of cases in the Thursday update:

  • Gallatin with 44 (304 active)
  • Missoula with 29 (128 active)
  • Lewis and Clark with 19 (108 active)
  • Cascade with 16 (50 active)
  • Silver Bow with 12 (75 active)
  • Yellowstone with 12 (543 active)
  • Flathead with 10 (183 active)
  • Hill with seven (24 active)
  • Ravalli with five (66 active)
  • Jefferson with four (12 active)
  • Lake with four (52 active)
  • Fergus with three (11 active)
  • Madison with three (26 active)
  • Richland with three (17 active)
  • Roosevelt with three (24 active)
  • Sweet Grass with three (nine active)
  • Valley with three (16 active)
  • Beaverhead with two (seven active)
  • Broadwater with two (12 active)
  • Carbon with two (nine active)
  • Dawson with two (four active)
  • Deer Lodge with two (three active)
  • Mineral with two (10 active)
  • Sanders with two (six active)
  • Wheatland with two (eight active)
  • Golden Valley with one (one active)
  • Lincoln with one (25 active)
  • Pondera with one (two active)
  • Sheridan with one (one active)
  • Teton with one (one active)

The number of available COVID-19 vaccine doses is steadily rising, but a shortage of physical space that meets standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing is a major bottleneck to further expansion, according to drugmakers, industry construction experts and officials involved in the U.S. vaccine program. Ciara Lee reports.

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