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State COVID Update Aug. 5: Active cases climb to 1,851, hospitalizations increase

State COVID Update Aug. 5: Active cases climb to 1,851, hospitalizations increase
Posted at 1:16 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 15:16:45-04

There were 286 new COVID-19 cases reported within the last 24 hours in Montana, with 1,851 total active cases in the state as of Thursday. The last time the state was over 1,800 active cases was in February, according to MTN data.

Flathead County added the most new cases, with 62 reported Thursday raising the total active to 453. Yellowstone and Missoula counties saw the second-largest increase in new cases, both reporting 31 new cases. Yellowstone is now at 249 active cases, while Missoula is at 192

There were two new deaths reported Wednesday; the total number of Montanans who have died due to COVID is now 1,720, according to the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS).

The number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID is 135, up 10 from Wednesday. The cumulative number of hospitalizations in Montana due to the virus is 5,804. To date, roughly 1 in 20 (4.9%) reported COVID cases in the state has resulted in a hospitalization.

The number of state residents who have been fully immunized against the virus is now 445,438 (about 48% of the state population). The total number of doses administered is 900,987. If you want to get vaccinated, contact your county health department, or click here.

There have been 117,610 cumulative cases of COVID in Montana. The cumulative number of recoveries is now 114,039. The total number of COVID tests administered in Montana is 1,517,776.

Visit the DPHHS website at any time for current state data and county-specific information.

Adam Meier, director of DPHHS, said in a news release on Thursday that COVID-related hospitalization data from the past eight weeks from June 5 to July 30 shows that 89% of Montanans who were hospitalized had not received the COVID vaccine. The data includes 358 hospitalizations of Montanans during this time frame. The hospitalizations included an age range from 1 to 97, with a median age of 64.

DPHHS also reports that the average daily number of COVID hospitalizations has slowly started to trend upward to the current average of 95 people. This includes a 44% increase from the week ending July 23 to the week ending July 30.
For context, last November, the average daily COVID hospitalizations were 427 people, which was the month with the highest reported COVID cases and hospitalizations.

According to DPHHS, the trend of new COVID-19 positive cases continues to increase. For the week ending June 25, there were 359 cases reported and for the week ending July 30 there were 1,180 cases reported statewide.

“This data illustrates just how effective the COVID-19 vaccine is in preventing serious illness when you consider how far we’ve come since the vaccine first became available,” Meier said. “The data is also a reminder of how important it is to get vaccinated. This is now a vaccine-preventable disease, and the last thing we want to see are more cases and hospitalizations. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best tool we have to prevent serious illness and hospitalization. The fall and winter months are just around the corner. Now is the time to get the vaccine.”

DPHHS officials also say the number of individuals receiving their first vaccine dose has started to steadily increase over the past several weeks, after declining in June and the first part of July. For example, for the week ending July 23 to the week ending July 30, there was an 18% increase in individuals receiving their first dose administration. “This is an encouraging sign to see that more people are deciding to get vaccinated, and I hope this trend continues in the coming weeks,” Meier said.