Montana added 887 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, with the total number of active cases in the state reaching an all-time high of 11,073.
The latest update from the state’s Department of Health of Human Services also showed 11 more deaths due to the virus, with 375 total since the start of the pandemic. Since health officials confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in March, nearly 33,000 Montana residents have contracted the virus.
Since Oct. 1, the number of active cases in the state have nearly tripled. More than half of all the deaths caused by COVID-19 occurred this month.
Yellowstone County, which leads the state in active cases with 2,437, reported two additional deaths as of Saturday for a total of 94 of its residents. Both residents, a man and a woman, were in their 80s and died while being treated in a Yellowstone County hospital.
RiverStone CEO and County Health Officer John Felton expressed condolences for both families in a statement. He also said that if residents do not take it upon themselves to be cautious and adhere to masking and social distancing standards, the county will continue to see a similar pattern of new cases and more deaths.
“I ask that we individually do our part so that collectively we can help ensure that our healthcare workers will be there to care for us, that our children can continuing learning in schools, and that our businesses can stay open,” he wrote.
To date, 6,854 Yellowstone County residents have tested positive for the virus, about 21% of all statewide cases.
Carbon County Public Health Officer Dr. William George confirmed that the county’s first death due to COVID-19 occurred earlier in the week, as reflected in the latest statewide update.
Gallatin County, which led the state in new cases Saturday with 164, also reported its 8th death due to COVID-19. The county currently has 1,110 active cases. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Friday that the Gallatin City-County Health Department may consider implementing restrictions as contact tracers are being overwhelmed by the new cases and hospitals are close to reaching capacity.
A status report on Montana’s hospitals showed that more than 80% of all ICUs in the state were occupied as of Friday. Although ventilators remain widely available, major hospitals in Billings, Helena and Great Falls have more than 90% of their beds occupied.
As of Saturday, 369 Montana residents were hospitalized due to the virus.
Five teams of nurses from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be coming to Montana to assist healthcare workers strained by the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Gazette previously reported. Gov. Steve Bullock said during a press conference Thursday that the teams would be stationed along the Hi-Line and throughout Eastern Montana, and would start arriving next week.
The state processed 6,286 new test for COVID-19, according to the state’s mapping and information webpage, for an overall total of 498,915 since March.
Of all the Montana residents who have tested positive, 21,353 have recovered.
Counties with deaths added to the state website Saturday include:
• Yellowstone with two (94 people total)
• Gallatin with one (Eight people total)
• Carbon with one (one person total)
• Lake with one (six total)
• Lincoln with two (five people total)
• Missoula with two (18 people total)
• Teton with one (one person total)
• Valley with two (five people total)
The number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Roosevelt County, previously tallying 31, dropped to 30 in the latest update after its County Health Department determined that the person was not a county resident. The reduction brings the statewide number of new deaths reported as of Saturday morning to 11.
Counties added the following number of new cases on the state website Thursday:
• Gallatin with 164 (1,110 active)
• Yellowstone with 126 (2,437 active)
• Flathead with 105 (760 active)
• Missoula with 63 (971 active)
• Rosebud with 45 (135 active)
• Lewis and Clark with 34 (811 active)
• Cascade with 35 (1,255 active)
• Roosevelt with 26 (389 active)
• Ravalli with 23 (339 active)
• Toole with 20 (17 active)
• Blaine with 19 (107 active)
• Hill with 17 (397 active)
• Custer with 15 (108 active)
• Powell with 15 (170 active)
• Fergus with 14 (67 active)
• Dawson with 13 (87 active)
• Silver Bow with 12 (120 active)
• Big Horn with 11 (235 active)
• Madison with 11 (39 active)
• Sanders with 11 (16 active)
• Valley with 11 (76 active)
• Lincoln with nine (93 active)
• Carbon with eight (48 active)
• Glacier with eight (145 active)
• Park with seven (66 active)
• Daniels with six (23 active)
• Deer Lodge with five (176 active)
• Sweet Grass with five (34 active)
• Broadwater with four (66 active)
• Garfield with four (eight active)
• Jefferson with four (68 active)
• Phillips with four (37 active)
• Richland with four (55 active)
• Beaverhead with three (33 active)
• Chouteau with three (59 active)
• Granite with three (30 active)
• Lake with three (165 active)
• Meagher with three (20 active)
• Stillwater with three (68 active)
• Fallon with two (30 active)
• Liberty with two (six active)
• McCone with two (10 active)
• Powder River with two (10 active)
• Sheridan with two (26 active)
• Wheatland with two (23 active)
• Mineral with one (one active)
• Musselshell with one (32 active)
• Pondera with one (29 active)