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The number of coronavirus cases in Gallatin County continues to rise.

The county reported 15 new cases between Friday evening and Monday at noon, bringing the number of active cases to 25 and the overall total number of cases to 217. None of those 25 people are currently hospitalized.

The new cases are in Big Sky and the Gallatin Valley and are the result of community transmission and contact with known cases, according to a county news release.

“We are seeing more cases and that is always concerning,” said Gallatin City-County Health Officer Matt Kelley. “What is especially concerning is that with the cases over the weekend, we are seeing people who have spent time in the last week at a bar or party.”

For instance, in the last several days, there have been seven cases in Big Sky, all of which were tied to the same social circle, Kelley said.

The county is continuing to identify those who have been in contact with the newly identified cases and anticipates the number of cases will increase.

“The bottom line is if you are in a crowded setting you’re at risk and really need to think about removing yourself from that setting,” Kelley said.

Recent cases have also been in mostly younger adults. Although the virus may affect younger people less severely than others, the new cases still pose a threat.

“It’s not just about you,” Kelley said. “It’s about those that you come into contact with.”

The increase in cases is reflected in wastewater data collected by the Gallatin City-County Health Department and Montana State University.

In Bozeman, after several weeks when the virus wasn’t found in the city’s wastewater, researchers began detecting the virus again on June 3, coinciding with the recent uptick in cases.

In Big Sky, the virus was first detected in the town’s wastewater on June 16, which was about the same time as the town reported new cases of COVID-19.

The virus has yet to be found in the wastewater in West Yellowstone where samples have been collected since May 30 or in Three Forks where weekly sampling began June 6.

Like Gallatin County, the entire state is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Over the weekend, the state announced 68 new cases, with 17 on Monday, 20 on Sunday and 31 on Saturday, which is Montana’s second-highest single-day count, trailing only the 35 cases identified on March 26.

The increase in COVID-19 cases over the weekend brought the statewide total on Monday to 163 active cases with 13 hospitalizations. Montana has had 550 recoveries and 21 deaths for a total of 734 cases.

The state’s latest death was announced Monday in Yellowstone County.

“Each loss of a Montanan to COVID-19 weighs heavily on our communities,” said Gov. Steve Bullock in a news release. “While we send our condolences to the loved ones impacted, we must all continue to remember we are in this together and it’s up to us to keep our friends and neighbors safe.”

Many of the recent cases have been in Big Horn County, which has enacted new restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, including mandatory temperature checks and face masks for employees of businesses that serve food.

Kelley said he didn’t know if or when Gallatin County might consider new restrictions but said the decision would be based on the number of local hospitalizations for the virus and the county’s ability to trace and manage new cases.

State officials have attributed the recent spike in cases to the reopening of the economy, the elimination of the mandatory two-week quarantine for out-of-state visitors and the increase in testing for COVID-19.

Bullock has decided not to reinstate restrictions to limit the spread of the virus. He also has said there isn’t a timetable for when Montana would further reduce restrictions.

State and local officials continue to advise people to avoid large gatherings, stay home when feeling sick, wash their hands frequently and wear a mask when social distancing is challenging.

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