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Montana reports 569 COVID-19 cases Monday; active cases reach 9,611

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Montana reported another 569 COVID-19 cases Monday morning in an update to the state's case mapping and information website. 

The cases bring the state's active case total to 9,611, which is the greatest number of active cases reported in Montana since the pandemic began.

Last Monday, the state reported 7,432 active COVID-19 cases.

Active hospitalizations in the state also rose to a new high of 339 people, compared to 286 active hospitalizations reported last Monday and 201 active hospitalizations reported two weeks ago.

No additional deaths were reported on the state's website. Montana has reported the deaths of 241 people since the pandemic began. A week ago the state reported 212 deaths. Two weeks ago the state reported 190 deaths.

At about 11 a.m. Monday, RiverStone Health, the county health department in Yellowstone County, provided information about the county's 77th person to die from COVID-19. The person was described as a man his 70s who died at a county hospital last Friday.

RiverStone also announced that data cleanup had led to the reassignment to another county of the death reported last week of a woman in her 50s.

In a statement included to the press release, County Health Officer John Felton refuted comparisons of COVID-19 to influenza.

“For those who continue to say that COVID-19 is ‘just the flu’, there have been more Yellowstone County residents who have died due to COVID-19 than Yellowstone County residents who died from influenza during the 2018-2019 influenza season and 2019-2020 combined. During those two influenza seasons, a total of six of our friends and neighbors died and 3,093 were infected,” Felton said.

At about 11 a.m. Monday, the 36th death in Big Horn County was announced in a press release issued by Rhonda Johnson, the county's public information officer. The state case mapping website, which in some cases differs due to reporting errors and other technical issues from county health department data, showed only 33 deaths for Big Horn County on Monday.

The person who died was a Big Horn County man who was in his 70s. He was hospitalized before he died, according to the county press release.

"The Big Horn County COVID-19 Response Unified Coalition shares in the sadness of his family, friends, and the entire community of Big Horn County during this difficult time," the press release says.

The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center reports 8.1 million people in the United States have had COVID-19. Of those people 219,811 have died.

The global death total is at 1.1 million people, according to the same source. The United States has reported the deaths of more people from COVID-19 than any nation. The other countries reporting death totals among the top five in the world are Brazil with 153,905 deaths, India with 114,610 deaths, Mexico with 86,167 deaths, and the United Kingdom with 43,816 deaths.

A total of 1,020 people have now been hospitalized in Montana due to COVID-19, according to the state's case mapping website, which relies on information from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. That's an increase from last Monday of 116 people in Montana who have been hospitalized at some point due to COVID-19.

The state's total number of cases is 23,390. Of those people who have been infected 13,538 are considered recovered, meaning they meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for releasing someone with COVID-19 from isolation.

The Harvard Global Health Institute in partnership with multiple other organizations tracks COVID-19 data for its COVID-19 risk levels dashboard.

As of its last update on Saturday, the dashboard showed Montana with the third worst number of daily cases per 100,000 people based on a seven-day rolling average, behind only North Dakota and South Dakota. Montana has been ranked among the worst in the nation by this metric for multiple weeks, including in White House Coronavirus Task Force reports that are sent out weekly to state governors.

The cases reported Monday were identified after the completion of 11,232 tests, which brings the state's testing total to 442,366.

Fourteen different counties reported a double digit or higher number of cases in the state's update Monday.

The counties with the 10 highest active case totals in Montana added the following number of cases in the Monday update:

  • Yellowstone with 111 (2,184 active)
  • Flathead with 52 (1,377 active)
  • Cascade with 76 (695 active)
  • Missoula with 62 (655 active)
  • Glacier with two (594 active)
  • Gallatin with 43 (448 active)
  • Roosevelt with 11 (396 active)
  • Lewis and Clark with 30 (384 active)
  • Hill with 11 (284 active)
  • Lake with 24 (203 active)

Other counties added the following number of cases in Monday's update:

  • Blaine with 22 (146 active)
  • Richland with 16 (151 active)
  • Valley with 16 (143 active)
  • Ravalli with 13 (155 active)
  • Park with 10 (49 active)
  • Madison with seven (17 active)
  • Powell with six (31 active)
  • Sanders with six (40 active)
  • Silver Bow with six (197 active)
  • Musselshell with five (36 active)
  • Rosebud with five (62 active)
  • Golden Valley with four (five active)
  • Jefferson with four (51 active)
  • Dawson with three (75 active)
  • Fergus with three (50 active)
  • Sweet Grass with three (eight active)
  • Beaverhead with two (27 active)
  • Chouteau with two (16 active)
  • Custer with two (60 active)
  • Granite with two (29 active)
  • McCone with two (11 active)
  • Meagher with two (12 active)
  • Carbon with one (40 active)
  • Daniels with one (five active)
  • Judith Basin with one (seven active)
  • Mineral with one (seven active)
  • Toole with one (149 active)
  • Wheatland with one (42 active)

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