MISSOULA — The first young adult in Missoula County has passed away due to COVID-19.
The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) was notified on Friday that a resident between the ages of 20 and 39 had died as a result of COVID-19. No further information is being released.
The death is the 13th in the past six weeks, according to MCCHD. Overall, 112 COVID-19 related deaths have been confirmed in Missoula County.
“We know that the Delta variant is a game-changer. Our hearts go out to the family of this individual, and to everyone who has lost someone they love due to COVID," said Health Officer D’Shane Barnett.
"We know we have a long way to go in fighting this virus, but the health department will continue to do everything we can to provide our community with the knowledge and resources to get us through this,” he added.
MCCHD reports the number of new COVID-19 cases also surpassed 100 with 114 cases reported on Friday morning marking the first time since the spike of the Delta variant that new cases in one day totaled over 100.
Additionally, local hospitals are reporting 40 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, which is just shy of the record set last November.
The Delta variant is causing more severe illness in younger, unvaccinated individuals than the original strain that circulated this past winter, MCCHD notes. “These are solemn reminders that this pandemic is far from over,” a news release states.
The Health Department is continuing to recommend residents wear masks in public spaces, maintain at minimum six feet of social distance, and use good hygiene practices such as hand washing and sanitizing in addition to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
A total of 11,585 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Missoula County including 10,621 recoveries and 112 deaths. There were 852 active cases reported on Friday.