Montana adds 212 COVID-19 cases; more than 5,000 active cases statewide

by Mike Kordenbrock
| October 6, 2020 7:00 AM

Another 212 COVID-19 cases were reported Monday morning, bringing the statewide active case total to 5,008.

The newly reported cases come along with the reporting of three additional deaths and 10 more hospitalizations, according to an update to the state's case mapping and information website, which relies on data from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Two of the deaths added to the state website Monday were reported out of Hill County. Another death was reported out of Roosevelt County.

Active cases are up from 3,400 total last Monday and 2,393 two weeks ago.

Statewide there have been 14,847 confirmed COVID-19 cases since March. A week ago the state was reporting 12,413 total cases. Two weeks ago the state had 10,429 total cases.

Monday morning 9,649 people in the state were considered recovered, compared to 8,839 last Monday and 7,876 two weeks ago.

Recoveries in Montana are determined according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for when a person with COVID-19 can be released from isolation.

Those guidelines state that a person can be released from isolation if they are at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms and they are at least 24 hours fever-free without fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved. The CDC notes that research indicates people who are severely ill or are severely immunocompromised can be infectious no longer than 20 days after onset of symptoms.

Yellowstone County reported 34 new cases, more than any other county, for a total of 1,164 active cases, which is also more than any other county in the state.

Roosevelt, Cascade, Deer Lodge and Lewis and Clark counties also added a double-digit number of new cases, according to the newly released numbers.

Statewide 201 people were actively hospitalized Monday morning, compared to 158 last Monday and 108 two weeks ago. Last Wednesday state officials announced that Benefis Hospital in Great Falls was at 115% capacity and that along with overall hospitalizations statewide, bed capacity in Billings was of particular concern.

Two days later the CEO of the Billings Clinic called the surge situation at his institution "a crisis" following the announcement the clinic was turning to a vacant care home facility for treatment of non-acute, non-COVID-19 patients.

"This is something Billings Clinic has not had to deal with. It's so stressful on our caregivers. They're working to capacity. They're stretched," said Dr. Scott Ellner, the Billings Clinic CEO.

The 212 cases reported Monday marks the lowest number of cases reported in Montana since Sept. 26 when 199 cases were reported.

Since Sept. 17 when Montana reported 222 new COVID-19 cases, breaking a single-day case record set back in July, the state has added 5,200 new cases for an average of 273 cases a day or about 1,915 cases a week.

Case growth over the summer had stabilized from mid-July through August at about 800 cases a week before beginning to increase in mid-September.

The New York Times coronavirus case tracking website ranks Montana fourth in the nation behind North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin in terms of cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force placed Montana in the red zone for new cases per 100,000 population on Sept. 20, based on case growth over the previous week.

Monday's new cases come with the reporting that 12,562 tests were recently completed, bringing the statewide total to 369,975.