Montana reported that 501 more of its residents have tested positive for COVID-19 Saturday, setting another daily record.
In the past week, the state has consistently reported more than 300 new cases a day, with more than 1,500 new cases reported during that time. According to the information compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently 4,569 active cases in the state.
Six people have died because of the virus since Oct. 1.
The month started with Montana health officials reporting record-breaking numbers of hospitalizations and active cases. The number of active cases has more than doubled since a month prior, and Gov. Steve Bullock joined other officials in a press conference Wednesday in warning that Montana hospitals and their could become overwhelmed.
Yellowstone County, the first county in the state to report more than 1,000 active cases, added 74 new cases of the virus Saturday. A Billings hospital announced a day prior that a care home group would lend it space for additional patients following a surge of cases in the southeastern part of the state. The Billings Gazette reported that Dr. Scott Ellner, Billings Clinic CEO, called the situation “a crisis.”
Billings Clinic has hospitals throughout Eastern Montana and in parts of Wyoming, often the only medical option for residents living in the rural farmland and ranches of the area.
RiverStone Health, the county’s public health service, reported 81 people hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment as of Friday afternoon. As the state’s medical hub, the majority of those in the county’s hospital beds are from outside of the county. RiverStone Health employee Pat Zellar said 35 are Yellowstone County residents.
According to Montana’s Joint Information Center, Yellowstone County residents make up about 24% of the state-wide total of active cases. County health officials reported 1,087 active cases in the county as of Saturday.
Flathead County, which added 49 new cases, has the second-highest number of active cases statewide with 655. County officials confirmed Friday that 19 of its residents had died due to COVID-19.
Cascade County follows with the third-highest, adding 35 new cases for a total of 419 active cases. Petroleum County remains the only one in the state to report no active cases since the start of the pandemic.
The state has processed 354,783 COVID-19 tests since March, and just over 9,600 of its residents have recovered after contracting the virus. There are currently 189 people hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout the state.
Other counties reporting cases Friday include:
• Gallatin added 56 (279 active).
• Blaine added 36 (56 active).
• Deer Lodge added 29 (39 active).
• Glacier added 28 (276 active).
• Richland added 19 (64 active).
• Silver Bow added 19 (57 active).
• Lewis and Clark added 15 (160 active.)
• Big Horn added 14 (148 active).
• Hill added 13 (66 active).
• Rosebud added 13 (108 active).
• Beaverhead added eight (55 active).
• Sanders added eight (12 active).
• Teton added eight (16 active).
• Wibaux added eight (nine active).
• Prairie added seven (12 active).
• Stillwater added five (42 active).
• Dawson added four (10 active).
• Lake added four (45 active).
• Lincoln added four (29 active).
• Meagher added four (10 active).
• Powder River added four (15 active).
• Valley added four (44 active).
• Fallon added three (13 active).
• Fergus added three (nine active).
• Madison added three (11 active).
• Ravalli added three (27 active).
• Roosevelt added three (210 active).
• Sweet Grass added three (10 active).
• Toole added three (48 active).
• Carbon added two (12 active).
• Granite added two (six active).
• Jefferson added two (38 active).
• Custer added one (six active).
• McCone added one (six active).
• Mineral added one (four active).
• Park added one (27 active).
• Wheatland added one (seven active).
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