Find the latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana here. This post will be updated daily, with newer information at the top.
03/18/20, 6 p.m.
State Medical Officer Answers Montana Coronavirus Testing Questions
As of this update, the Montana state lab has tested over 500 people in Montana for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Ten of those tests have come back positive. Montana Public Radio’s Corin Cates-Carney spoke with Montana’s State Medical Officer Gregory Holzman earlier Wednesday to learn how testing is happening, who’s getting tested and what to expect moving forward. Learn more.
03/18/20, 5 p.m.
Montana has another two cases of the COVID-19 illness, bringing the in-state total to 10.
The governor’s office announced tests for two men in their 20s from Gallatin County were confirmed by the state lab this morning. They are currently in isolation.
The state and Gallatin County’s health departments are working to learn who the two patients may have come in contact with, their travel history and exposure risk.
As of this morning the state lab has tested 509 people for COVID-19, with 499 returning negative results.
03/17/20, 7:00 p.m.
Yellowstone County Officials Seeking Data On Financial Impacts From Coronavirus
A day after declaring a state of emergency in Yellowstone County, local government leaders are asking businesses, schools and other groups to document financial impacts of the novel coronavirus. County officials say this information could attract federal relief money toward the county. Learn more.
State Extends Renewal Deadline For Driver’s Licenses
Montana driver’s licenses expiring in March, April and May of this year will have an extended 90-day renewal deadline. Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday he would sign an executive order allowing for the extension. Earlier in the day, Attorney General Tim Fox said the order came in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Learn more.
Bozeman Volunteers Work To Aid Those Affected By COVID-19
Health officers are saying communities need to be prepared for a potentially long-haul disruption to day-to-day life in response to COVID-19. Community volunteers in Bozeman are trying to make life a little easier for their neighbors. Learn more.
Coronavirus Puts A Damper On Montana’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations
The novel coronavirus outbreak made for a Montana St. Patrick’s Day like few others in state history. Several counties this week instituted aggressive steps to reduce large gatherings in the name of public health. Montanans adjusted their expectations this year and dialed it back a notch. Learn more.
03/16/20, 8:00 p.m.
Positive tests reported today for a male patient in their 20s in Missoula County and a female patient in their 20s in Yellowstone County bring the total number of coronavirus cases in Montana to eight.
Counties Shut Down Bars, Restaurants To Limit Crowd Size In Face Of Coronavirus
Several counties in Montana announced Monday they’re taking aggressive steps to reduce large gatherings to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The orders come just a day before St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kick off across the state.
While many businesses are adjusting services or voluntarily postponing or canceling events, Monday appears to mark the first government top-down directive to limit crowd sizes. Learn more.
Montana Schools Scrambling To Transition To Online Learning
Following Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s order Sunday to close public schools for two weeks due to detections of the novel coronavirus, districts around the state scrambled on Monday to set plans in place for remote learning and feeding students. Yellowstone Public Radio News Director Nicky Ouellet talks with MTPR’s Aaron Bolton about how schools are responding to these detections. Learn more.
How Food Insecurity Complicates Coronavirus Care For Montana Seniors
Senior citizens are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Those caring for the elderly now have to be even…
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