Drive Up Testing

Erin Campbell receives patients at the drive-up testing site at Bozeman Health on July 8, 2020. 

Support Local Journalism


Subscribe


HELENA (AP) — Montana health officials reported three additional deaths related to the coronavirus over the weekend, bringing the state’s total number to 32.

It comes as the state confirmed 252 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday through Monday, marking one of the state’s highest three-day totals.

Canyon Creek Memory Care, an assisted living facility in Billings, reported two more deaths Sunday. A woman in her 90s died at a hospital, while another woman in her 90s died at the care facility.

A total of seven residents of the facility have died in the span of a week after contracting the respiratory virus. Yellowstone County health officials reported Friday that all but four residents of the facility had been infected with the virus.

The other death — a woman in her 70s who was hospitalized — was reported by Big Horn County officials Sunday. She is the fifth person in the county to die of the virus.

State health officials confirmed 84 new cases on Saturday, 83 on Sunday and 85 on Monday, pushing the statewide total to at least 1,843. Twenty-eight people are hospitalized. More than a third of the newly confirmed cases are in Yellowstone County, which includes Billings.

Gallatin County reported 23 new cases on Saturday, 11 on Sunday and 16 on Monday. The 50 new cases over the weekend bring the county’s total active cases to 122.

There were five hospitalizations in Gallatin County on Monday, a significant jump from recent weeks in which the county typically reported one hospitalization or none each day.

The 50 new cases are in the Gallatin Valley, Big Sky and West Yellowstone, according to a Gallatin City-County Health Department news release. They stem from travel, community spread and contact with known cases.

Montana’s rate of infections still trails most of the nation. But the number of cases has risen sharply over the last month as restrictions on commerce and social gatherings eased. Some health agencies have begun adopting measures like mandatory face coverings and limits on the size of gatherings.

The Gallatin County Board of Health has so far followed Gov. Steve Bullock’s statewide guidelines for reopening. That could change on Tuesday as the board is holding a meeting at The Commons, at 1794 E. Baxter Lane, at 7 a.m., to decide whether to require the use of face coverings in indoor public settings.

The board is also deciding whether to extend an existing requirement for people who have tested positive and their close contacts to stay home to limit the spread of the virus. Those who are symptomatic and waiting for test results must also quarantine. The rule was implemented a few months ago and was set to expire on July 14. The extension would keep the rule in place until Oct. 12.

Chronicle reporter Perrin Stein contributed to this article.

Support Local Journalism

To see what else is happening in Gallatin County subscribe to the online paper.

Perrin Stein can be reached at pstein@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2648.