Montana added another 1,660 COVID-19 cases and 37 deaths in an update Saturday morning to the state's case mapping and information website.
The new cases bring the state's active case total to 17,900, according to the state's website, which relies on information from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
The state reported 37 deaths on Saturday, bringing the total of statewide deaths due to COVID-19 to 514. Since Nov. 1, Montana has tallied 138 COVID-19 deaths, according to the state’s website.
Gov. Steve Bullock released a statement Saturday regarding the number of deaths in Montana surpassing 500, saying that COVID-19 is projected to be among the top causes of death in Montana for the year.
“It is within our power to save lives. If Montanans mask up, follow public health requirements, and stay home as much as possible, we can save hundreds of lives. Let’s prove we value the health of our community and our frontline workers who go to work in crowded hospitals day and night to care for us,” he said.
The number of new cases across the United States in a single day reached a record high Friday of nearly 185,000 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The seven-day rolling average of virus-related deaths is at 1,047, an increase of nearly 26% since the end of October.
The bulk of new cases reported Montana Saturday came from Cascade County, with 440 cases. The county currently has 2,778 active cases, and 49 of its residents have died due to the virus as of Saturday.
The first deaths in both Granite and Chouteau counties reported earlier in the week were also reflected in Saturday’s update.
The latest status update on Montana’s hospitals shows that seven of the 10 large hospitals throughout the state are at 70% capacity or more. As of Friday, St. Vincent Health Care in Billings, Benefits Hospital in Great Falls and St. Peter’s Health in Helena all reported that their beds were completely occupied with patients.
On Friday, the Gazette reported that Billings Clinic received 20 additional beds from Montana Disaster and Emergency Services as cases of COVID-19 continue to swell in the region.
St. John’s United, an assisted living organization based out of Billings, confirmed Friday that four staff members and two residents from the same facility had tested positive for COVID-19. All those who have tested positive are currently in isolation, and both residents are doing well, according to a press release from the organization.
As of Saturday, 100 Yellowstone County residents have died due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The county currently leads the state in active cases with 4,420.
Montana State Hospital, the state’s only public psychiatric hospital, confirmed 24 cases among its patients and two deaths recently. Lee Montana Newspapers reported Wednesday that six staff members at the Warm Springs facility also tested positive
Statewide, a total of 435 people were actively hospitalized Saturday. There have been a total of 2,042 people hospitalized in Montana due to COVID-19.
Montana has had 45,886 confirmed COVID-19 infections since March. Of those people infected, 27,472 are listed on the state website as recovered, meaning they meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for a person with COVID-19 to be released from isolation. If a person is designated as recovered under those guidelines that does not necessarily mean they are no longer experiencing symptoms or adverse health effects related to their illness.
Another 3,150 tests were completed by Saturday, bringing the statewide testing total to 569,694.
Counties added the following number of cases in the Saturday update:
- Cascade with 440 (2,778 active)
- Yellowstone with 226 (4,420 active)
- Gallatin with 151 (1,019 active)
- Flathead with 136 (1,534 active)
- Lewis and Clark with 79 (745 active)
- Silver Bow with 74 (503 active)
- Big Horn with 71 (622 active)
- Richland with 33 (222 active)
- Missoula with 31 (1,944 active)
- Hill with 30 (366 active)
- Powell with 29 (71 active)
- Carbon with 27 (117 active)
- Ravalli with 23 (270 active)
- Lincoln with 22 (200 active)
- Chouteau with 20 (85 active)
- Deer Lodge with 20 (77 active)
- Jefferson with 18 (87 active)
- Custer with 17 (127 active)
- Fergus with 17 (316 active)
- Park with 15 (159 active)
- Sheridan with 14 (78 active)
- Roosevelt with 13 (495 active)
- Blaine with 11 (112 active)
- Dawson with 10 (80 active)
- Carter with nine (16 active)
- Lake with nine (266 active)
- Valley with nine (65 active)
- Madison with eight (71 active)
- Phillips with eight (27 active)
- Fallon with seven (34 active)
- Rosebud with seven (103 active)
- Stillwater with six (107 active)
- Garfield with five (15 active)
- Judith Basin with four (26 active)
- Teton with four (22 active)
- Granite with three (36 active)
- Liberty with three (four active)
- McCone with three (three active)
- Mineral with three (seven active)
- Powder River with three (eight active)
- Daniels with two (11 active)
- Glacier with two (150 active)
- Meagher with two (six active)
- Pondera with two (31 active)
- Broadwater with one (19 active)
- Sanders with one (35 active)
- Toole with one (60 active)
- Treasure with one (two active)
- Wibaux with one (nine active)