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An employee at a Bozeman senior living facility has tested positive for COVID-19 less than a week after a resident at the facility tested positive, health officials confirmed Saturday.

The second positive case at Hillcrest Senior Living was identified through contact tracing and surveillance testing, according to Kallie Kujawa, Bozeman Health incident commander.

It was the only positive test out of more than 200 residents and staff members tested this week, a result hailed by hospital officials.

After a Hillcrest resident tested positive for coronavirus Tuesday, contract tracers identified three staff members and one other resident who had been exposed to the resident. One staff member out of the four people tested positive for the virus, Kujawa said.

The Hillcrest employee is in stable condition and is self-quarantining at home. The resident is also in stable condition and is being treated in their apartment, Kujawa said.

The resident who tested positive had just returned from a family vacation, according to Kujawa. When the person returned, they began noticing COVID-19 symptoms.

Hillcrest, a branch of Bozeman Health, allows residents to come and go. Kujawa said residents and employees at Aspen Pointe and Birchwood, the two branches of Hillcrest, will be tested every three to seven days until there have been zero positive tests for 14 consecutive days.

After Hillcrest officials found out about the first case, they coordinated with the Gallatin City County Health Department to screen everyone who came in and out of Hillcrest’s doors for symptoms, Kujawa said. Staff shut down dining services, changed public spaces to enforce social distancing and doubled down on mandatory mask protocol.

Staff will continue to use these virus precautions.

Since Hillcrest opted in to a state surveillance testing program, it received supplies from the state to test all residents and staff. By Friday, 205 tests had been taken. To speed up testing results, the National Guard drove test kits to a state lab. Only the employee tested positive.

“I think it’s been an enormous collaborative effort… to sincerely prioritize the safety of the residents” Kujawa said. She said Hillcrest residents were grateful for the quick response, which kept Bozeman’s clinical lab scientist working around the clock.

According to Kujawa, the realities of doing additional surveillance testing mean more cases might pop up. Nonetheless, “we are very, very fortunate.,” she said.

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Helena Dore can be reached at or at 582-2628.