Montana added another 1,475 COVID-19 cases and six deaths in an update Friday morning to the state's case mapping and information website.
The new cases bring the statewide active case total to 22,169 and the new deaths bring the total to 567.
This month alone Montana has recorded 191 COVID-19 deaths for an average of nine deaths per day. The bulk of the state’s deaths have been reported since October.
In the most recent White House Coronavirus Task Force report to governors this week Montana ranked third worst in the nation for deaths per 100,000 population. North Dakota was worst in the nation, followed by South Dakota.
Three of the deaths reported Friday occurred in Yellowstone County. RiverStone Health provided some additional information on the deaths.
On Wednesday two women, both in their 60s, died. On Thursday a woman in her 80s died. All three died in local hospitals.
That brings the total number of deaths in the county to 112.
“Our hearts go out the families and friends of these three Yellowstone County residents,” John Felton, Yellowstone County Health Officer, said in a press release. “Especially as we enter the holiday season, the loss of loved ones is so difficult.”
The state reported another death in Hill County. The Hill County Health Department announced its 30th COVID-19 death Tuesday.
The state also reported a death in Glacier County. The health department there announced its 25th death, a woman in her 60s, on Wednesday.
Both Hill and Glacier county health departments have reported more deaths, but those deaths are not yet been reflected on the statewide map.
The state website relies on information collected by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and can often differ from what local health departments have reported until data is reconciled.
Check with your county health department for the most current case numbers.
A total of 506 people were actively hospitalized Friday. In total, 2,252 people have been hospitalized in Montana from the disease.
Hospitalizations in the state have led to a crunch on the healthcare system as beds fill up with COVID-19 patients.
Seven out of 10 large hospitals in the state reported limited bed availability or being near capacity, and eight of the 10 large hospitals had 10 or fewer ICU beds available, according to a hospital capacity and occupancy report published Thursday by DPHHS.
Six counties in Montana added more than 100 cases on Friday. Ravalli County added the most with 237, followed by Yellowstone County, which tallied 195 new cases Friday.
Yellowstone County continues to lead the state with the most active cases with more than 5,000 on Friday.
On Thursday, Felton issued more restrictions to help curb the spread of COVID-19, including limiting capacity to all places of assembly to 50%, and restricting gatherings to 25 people.
Felton has previously said that a conservative estimate would place the number of close contacts per case at four people, meaning there may be close to 20,000 people in Yellowstone County that are close contacts to COVID-19 cases and may have the virus themselves.
Montana has had 53,293 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Of those people infected 30,557 are considered recovered, meaning they meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for someone with COVID-19 to be released from isolation. That does not necessarily mean a person is symptom free or is no longer experiencing adverse health effects related to their illness.
Another 5,846 tests were completed by Friday, bringing the statewide testing total to 601,675.
Counties added the following number of cases in Friday’s update:
- Ravalli County added 237 cases (610 active)
- Yellowstone County added 195 cases (5,137 active)
- Missoula County added 166 cases (2,359 active)
- Silver Bow County added 133 cases (810 active)
- Gallatin County added 120 cases (1,310 active)
- Lewis and Clark County added 104 cases (930 active)
- Flathead County added 95 cases (2,014 active)
- Cascade County added 60 cases (3,561 active)
- Lincoln County added 35 cases (286 active)
- Lake County added 29 cases (302 active)
- Dawson County added 25 cases (119 active)
- Deer Lodge County added 24 cases (89 active)
- Custer County added 22 cases (209 active)
- Beaverhead County added 21 cases (125 active)
- Hill County added 21 cases (282 active)
- Jefferson County added 21 cases (133 active)
- Fallon County added 19 cases (55 active)
- Park County added 17 cases (210 active)
- Valley County added 17 cases (82 active)
- Madison County added 16 cases (110 active)
- Carbon County added nine cases (125 active)
- Mineral County added nine cases (21 active)
- Broadwater County added six cases (39 active)
- Chouteau County added six cases (71 active)
- Liberty County added six cases (24 active)
- Toole County added six cases (26 active)
- Big Horn County added five cases (739 active)
- Carter County added five cases (11 active)
- Roosevelt County added five cases (528 active)
- Sanders County added five cases (51 active)
- Garfield County added four cases (22 active)
- Prairie County added four cases (19 active)
- Rosebud County added four cases (76 active)
- Stillwater County added four cases (75 active)
- Sweet Grass County added four cases (58 active)
- Teton County added four cases (39 active)
- Pondera County added three cases (61 active)
- Phillips County added two cases (34 active)
- Sheridan County added two cases (89 active)
- Blaine County added one case (105 active)
- Granite County added one case (26 active)
- McCone County added one case (seven active)
- Meagher County added one case (two active)
- Powell County added one case (87 active)