Missoula County reports 84 new COVID cases as numbers continue to climb

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Missoula County jumped on Friday, up 84 from the prior day, according to local health officials.

The state of Montana also reported 360 new cases, the second highest daily total since the pandemic began back in March.

Despite the surge, state and local health officials stayed the course, reminding residents of the now familiar mantra – wear a mask, social distance and maintain property hand washing.

“Monitoring active cases and notifying close contacts occurs 7 days a week,” the Missoula City-County Health Department said in a morning release. “If someone is identified as a close contact to a known case during case investigation, MCCHD will notify the close contact privately and individually as quickly as possible.”

While the county reported 84 new cases since Thursday, it’s also tracking 364 active cases that include more than 1,160 close contacts. Fourteen individuals were being hospitalized for the virus in Missoula County on Friday.

State and local health officials have said several times this week that the surge in cases has placed a strain on resources. Hospitals in Missoula, Great Falls, Helena and Bozeman have all cited concerns over capacity, especially as the pandemic collides with the flu season.

As of Thursday, Providence St Patrick Hospital said it had 11 COVID-19 patients. Six of those patients were in ICU, leaving one ICU bed available.

Community Medical Center said it had two COVID-19 patients and two ICU beds available. Eleven of their 13 beds are in use for people with non-COVID related symptoms.