HELENA — Lewis and Clark Public Health (LCPH) are urging residents and local businesses to take steps to lessen impacts on the local hospital, health centers, and schools following an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
On Wednesday, Lewis and Clark County saw the 100th resident die from complications of COVID-19.
Data from LCPH indicates there has been a 42% increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases compared to the two weeks prior. About 20% of cases reported so far this month are from those under the age of 18.
This week, the CDC reported an 11% increase in confirmed COVID-19 hospital admissions compared to the previous week. LCPH say most of the individuals in the hospital with serious illness are unvaccinated.
“Cases are headed up, hospital beds are in short supply, and deaths are beginning to climb once again,” said LCPH Health Director Drenda Niemann. “We feel like a broken record, but every individual in the community has the power to slow and stop the spread of this virus. We all must act now.”
On Sept. 16, St. Peter’s Health announced they are in “crisis care” as their critical care units reach full capacity. Crisis Care Standards occur when it is no longer possible to deliver the normal standard of care to all persons in need. The need occurs when health care resources are overwhelmed by a disaster or emergency.
LCPH say its critical community members work to slow the spread of COVID-19 by:
- Getting vaccinated. Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. The more people who are vaccinated, the less spread we will see in our communities.
- Avoiding large group gatherings. The more people present at any event increases the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19.
- Wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, especially when keeping a safe distance of more than six feet is difficult.
- Staying at least six feet away from other people. This remains one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of the virus, especially when combined with masking.
- STAYING HOME when they have symptoms of COVID-19, leaving their home only to attend medical appointments or get tested.
- Washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.