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3 more die of virus in Montana; state adds record 96 COVID-19 cases
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3 more die of virus in Montana; state adds record 96 COVID-19 cases

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The state reported adding 96 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, marking the third time in a week Montana set a record high for the number of new daily cases.

Three more people died of the virus over the last week days, all tied to the Canyon Creek Memory Care center in Billings, according to a press release from the Yellowstone County public health agency.

On Monday a woman in her 70s died and on Wednesday a woman in her 80s died. A man in his 90s died Thursday.

Earlier this week, Yellowstone County's public health agency reported that 45 residents and 21 employees at Canyon Creek Memory Care center in Billings tested positive for the virus. Many of the residents who tested positive were older, putting them at higher risk of death from the virus.

Yellowstone County added 46 new cases Thursday morning, and there are now 235 active cases there. The county with the next highest number of active cases is Gallatin, with 102. That county added seven new cases Thursday.

Also Thursday, the governor campaign for Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte said the congressman and his wife, Susan, along with running mate Kristen Juras have all tested negative for the coronavirus.

Susan Gianforte and Juras were at an event in Big Sky that was also attended by Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr. Guilfoyle said last week she tested positive for the virus. Greg Gianforte was in Washington, D.C., and did not attend the event. The Gianfortes and Juras have been self-quarantining.

Republican state Auditor Matt Rosendale and his wife, Jean, have also tested negative following their attendance at the event, as has Republican Auditor candidate Troy Downing.

Superintendent for Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, who is seeking re-election, also said Tuesday that she tested negative after her attendance at the event.

Billings Gazette reporter Mike Kordenbrock contributed to this story.

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