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Gallatin County added six new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, the largest single-day spike in two months.

The county now has 11 active cases with no hospitalizations. There have been 174 cases in the county since the virus was first detected in March.

The new cases are all in the Gallatin Valley, meaning they are not in West Yellowstone, which has been an area of concern since June 1, when Yellowstone National Park reopened and the mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors was lifted.

Most of Wednesday’s cases were discovered through contact tracing and are connected to confirmed cases, said Gallatin City-County Health Officer Matt Kelley.

“Right now, we are finding existing cases lead us to new cases,” he said. “This is how contact tracing works.”

The new cases aren’t all tied to each other, and the county doesn’t have any clusters of cases or see any distinct patterns in the new cases, Kelley said.

In a news release Wednesday, the county said the new cases aren’t related to travel. In recent weeks, there has been evidence of community spread in Gallatin County.

Health officials have said the spike in cases is not a reason to walk back the reopening of businesses.

Gallatin City-County Health Department has said it can manage all the cases it has and has been increasing its capacity throughout the pandemic.

“While exposure to COVID-19 can be scary, officials are closely monitoring the reopening of Montana to ensure residents remain safe and that the spread of the disease is minimized,” the county said the news release.

The six new cases come after a day after a vote from the Gallatin City-County Board of Health to follow state regulations that allow bars, restaurants and casinos to stay open later and offer seating at countertops and poker tables.

“The regulations have changed, but the virus hasn’t,” Kelley said.

The health department continues to recommend people limit group interactions, stay home when sick, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and wear a face covering when it’s difficult to stay 6 feet from others.

The six cases of COVID-19 in Gallatin County on Wednesday brought the daily total of new cases statewide to eight. The two cases outside Gallatin County were in Big Horn County, which has also had a recent increase in cases.

Montana had a total of 56 active cases with seven hospitalizations as of Wednesday. To date, the state has had a total of 561 cases with 487 recoveries and 18 deaths.

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Perrin Stein can be reached at or at 582-2648.