The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Montana climbed to 200 on Wednesday morning, a new milestone that’s expected to continue rising and did by the end of the day.
Missoula County recorded its 15th case while Flathead climbed to 17, according to the latest report.
Across the state, the number of casualties also is climbing. Gov. Steve Bullock announced the fifth virus-related death during a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon. It occured in Toole County, marking its third fatality.
Of the COVID-19 cases confirmed in Montana, 32 patients have recovered and been released from isolation.
“No matter how challenging these days may be, it’s important that were remember to look around and see the good,” Bullock said. “It’s important to remember that most of the people who get this disease have mild symptoms – enough to be able to recover at home. This serves as a reminder that we will overcome these challenging times.”
Bullock also reiterated the state’s new directive requiring all travelers arriving in Montana to quarantine for 14 days, including residents and nonresidents.
As part of the quarantine order, Bullock said the Montana Department of Commerce will reach out to all vacation listings and rental sites, informing them they must notify potential clients of the new requirement.
The Montana National Guard will also begin conducting temperature checks at the state’s ports and rail stations, along with travelers arriving at the state’s airports.
“This is a significant and serious thing to do,” Bullock said. “The National Guard – I haven’t given them arrest power. My expectation is that anyone who visits Montana will act just like Montanans are. We’re courteous, neighborly and we actually listen to one another.”
As part of the effort, the state activated 72 soldiers and airmen for pandemic response. Beginning Friday, April 3, they will be present at airports in Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, Helena, Kalispell, Great Falls and Butte. The national Guard will also have a presence at train stations in Whitefish, Havre, Shelby and Wolf Point.
“In this time of need, the National Guard team will conduct screening with professionalism and will always treat Montana citizens and visitors with the dignity and respect they are entitled to,” Adjutant Gen. Matthew Quinn said in a statement. “We are preparing our Soldiers and Airmen to respond to all future requests for assistance to support communities across the state.”