UPDATE: 11/24/2020, 4:22 PM - An earlier version of this story put the total new cases at 82. That number has been reduced to 81 after clarification from the county.
Gallatin County reported 81 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, raising the total number of cases to 6,958.
According to the county's dashboard, there are currently 34 people hospitalized, and 730 active cases. 6,210 people have recovered and there have been 18 COVID-19 related deaths.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department confirmed Tuesday that two more Gallatin County residents have passed away from complications due to COVID-19.
The two people were a man in his 70s who died in a hospital and a woman in her 90s who died at her residence. Both died last week.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department received the official death certificates yesterday that attributed their deaths to COVID-19 and other significant health conditions. These latest deaths make for a total of 18 COVID-related deaths in Gallatin County.
Data on statewide deaths reported by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services can be found here.
“Sincere condolences to the family and friends of these people,” said Matt Kelley, Gallatin City-County Health Department Health Officer. “During this holiday season, it is especially important to continue following the well-established public health guidelines to keep your families and friends safe. We will get through this pandemic, and we will do it by sticking together and taking care of one another.”
Out of respect for the families, no further details will be released.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department will be closed on Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day) and Nov. 27 in order to give our staff some much needed and deserved time off. This closure will include the COVID-19 Call Center. If you have COVID-19 related questions during that time, please visit their website for more information.
NOTE: As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in Montana, the disparity between state data from DPHHS and data from county health departments continues to grow. As of Thursday, November 19th, MTN News has decided to use a combination of these sources to deliver more accurate and timely information. County health departments are often alerted to cases/deaths before Montana DPHHS; as those counties share that information with us and/or the public, MTN News believes it should be reflected in our reporting. Using that county-level data means there will be times when MTN News data differs from the state report. Click here for the Montana COVID site.
RESTRICTIONS: Tighter restrictions went into effect on Friday, November 20th, due to the continuing increase in the number of cases and deaths. Masks will be required in all counties regardless of the number of active cases. Capacity at restaurants, bars, and casinos will be reduced to 50%, with a limit of six people per table. Click here to read the full text of the directive.
CONTEXT: Not every person who tests positive actually becomes ill or exhibits symptoms. Many do not; of those who do become sick, some experience mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization. Others, however, do require hospitalization, as noted in the daily update on the number of people hospitalized. However, every person who tests positive for COVID-19 has the potential to spread the virus to other people, including family members and friends, which is why public health officials continue to encourage everyone to wear a mask and maintain at least the recommended six feet of "social distance" when in public. The CDC released data in late August which emphasizes that people with contributing or chronic medical conditions are at much greater risk of dying from COVID-19. Click here to read more.