Butte-Silver Bow officials are investigating three newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.
The newest cases involve a man in his 20s, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 60s.
All are isolated at home, and the department is contacting individuals who’ve had close contact with the new cases.
Health Officer Karen Sullivan said investigations are still under way, so it is not yet known whether any of these cases were community acquired.
The newest infections now bring the county's total to 18 cases.
“The virus is in our community,” Sullivan said. “Given that reality, I ask that everyone, for the absolute sake of their families and friends, exercise extreme caution when out in the community.”
Sullivan reminded Butte residents to practice physical distancing and mask-wearing.
She said adhering to those safety guidelines is very important as the county begins its Fourth of July festivities, including the annual July 3 fireworks display on the Big M.
“Please enjoy the show with your family, but avoid congregate gatherings,” she said.
Community-wide testing for COVID-19 will continue next week at the Butte Plaza Mall, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 9. The community-wide testing is offered to individuals who are asymptomatic.
Those with symptoms are asked to call in advance to seek testing at Southwest Montana Community Health Center, 445 Centennial Ave. in Butte.
Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
More severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and bluish lips or face. Those experiencing these severe symptoms are asked to seek emergency medical care immediately.
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