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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Billings nursing home said 58 residents and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus and the facility has been put under quarantine, as Montana on Tuesday reported its highest daily total of confirmed infections since the pandemic began.

Residents and staff of Canyon Creek Memory Care Community were tested July 3 after a staff member recently tested positive, said spokesman Chase Salyers with Koelsch Communities, the Washington state company that runs the facility.

Two of the 43 residents who tested positive for the virus were hospitalized and the rest remain at Canyon Creek. The facility, which houses seniors including those with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other forms of memory loss, has 55 residents and 56 staff members.

Results for 24 residents and staff were still pending.

The outbreak comes as the number of confirmed virus cases continues to trend sharply upward. Montana health officials reported 80 new cases Tuesday, a record high.

The state has tallied more than 360 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past week, making it the worst one since the pandemic reportedly first arrived in the state in late March. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

At least seven long-term care facilities in Billings to date have reported COVID-19 cases, according to Yellowstone County Health Officer and RiverStone Health CEO John Felton.

“Seniors in congregate living situations are particularly vulnerable to tragic outcomes should they become infected with COVID-19," Felton said in a statement. “In this particular instance, we are especially concerned because of the challenges those with cognitive decline face in communicating, following personal hygiene instructions and their need for predictable routine.”

He added that it was a “heartbreaking example" of what can happen when people don't follow recommendations to wash hands, keep distance from one another and wear a mask. Yellowstone County has not mandated masks as some other counties have or are considering.

RiverStone Health vice president Barbara Schneeman said no mask order was being considered for Yellowstone County at this time.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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