Drive-through COVID-19 Testing

Two Bozeman Health employees work together to collect a sample at a drive-through testing location recently outside of Bozeman Health Outpatient Services in Bozeman.

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Montana officials announced the first death in the state due the novel coronavirus Thursday night.

The Montana governor's office announced the death in a press release just after 8:30 p.m.

According to the release, health officials were still in the process of contacting family members and no additional information was provided. 

“I’m heartbroken to learn of Montana’s first death due to COVID-19,” Bullock said in a statement. “Especially during these times, Montana truly is one big small town – this news hits us hard, but we’re in this together. My family and I send our love and support to the family, friends and community of our fellow Montanan.”

The announcement came hours after Bullock announced that he’s ordering people to stay in their homes to try and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus called COVID-19 for two weeks.

The order will go into effect Saturday and last through April 10.

As of Friday morning, the state lab had recorded 108 known cases of the illness in Montana. Of those, 39 are in Gallatin County.

Public health officials have said Montana's best chance to curve the virus in Montana is for people to practice social distance and to wash their hands regularly.

This story was updated with new case numbers Friday morning. 

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Katheryn Houghton can be reached at or at 582-2628.