County Vaccination, Moderna Vaccine

Health care workers prepare doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 6 at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.

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Gallatin County saw a slight uptick in daily COVID-19 case numbers this past week while the county-wide vaccination rate remained largely unchanged.

As of Thursday, the seven-day rolling average of daily cases were at about 4.2 per 100,00 residents, according to the Gallatin City-County Health Department’s weekly report. That marks a slight increase from the rolling average of 2 cases per 100,000 the week prior.

Gallatin County as of Friday had a total of 24 active cases, up from a week ago when the county reported 13 active cases.

Montana has 512 active COVID-19 cases, with 90 new cases reported Friday and 59 active hospitalizations. In total, 1,691 Montanans have died from the disease, according to the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

More COVID-19 variants have been reported in Gallatin County, according to the state. Last week, the first two cases of the delta variant, a more contagious strain of COVID-19, were reported.

As of Wednesday, Gallatin County had 60 variant cases. Of that, 42 were the alpha strain, two were the delta strain, three were the gamma strain, eight were the epsilon strain, one case of the eta strain and four cases of the iota strain were reported.

The alpha, delta and gamma strains are classified as “variants of concern,” by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

About 54% of the county’s eligible population, which is everyone 12 and older, has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, according to DPHHS.

As of July 9, 63% of the eligible population had received a first dose, a just 1% increase from the previous data report on June 28.

The county ranked fifth in the state for the highest percent of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated, behind Missoula, Silver Bow, Deer Lodge and Lewis and Clark counties.

Vaccination rates among young adults and children aged 12 and older are still lagging in Gallatin County, according to DPHHS. About 37% of children eligible, age 12 to 17, have received a first dose. For young adults age 18 to 29, the rate has reached 53% as of July 9, the most recently available data from DPHHS.

The percent of positive tests in Gallatin County for all COVID-19 tests administered also marginally increased since the week prior.

As of Tuesday, the seven-day average rate was at 4.4%, and increase from 1.7% the week before.

The World Health Organization recommends the test positivity rate stay below 5% as a criteria for re-opening and keeping businesses open.

The Montana State University system reported one active case, according to the health department.

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Juliana Sukut can be reached at 582-2630 or jsukut@dailychronicle.com

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