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Staying safe from COVID-19 as summer events kick off in Montana

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Posted at 7:03 AM, Jul 08, 2022

With a busy summer of events and more gatherings taking place this summer, more people are trying to live more normal lives with COVID in the background.

“Disease is still circulating in our community,” said Gallatin City-County Health Department Health Officer Lori Christenson.

Preparations are underway for events around Bozeman, and many large gatherings added with summer tourism all mean more people moving around town. But Gallatin County case numbers are keeping us at high risk for COVID-19.

“ Wearing a mask in indoor public places, that’s a recommendation when we are in high community transmission,” Christenson said.

According to the latest data from the CDC, Gallatin County’s positivity rate is sitting at 19.77%.

"All of the omicron variants have shown us it's easily spread and its easily transmissible,” said Bozeman Health Pediatrician Katie D’Ardenne.

D’Ardenne says she sees more out-of-state traffic as more people visit the area.

“We certainly do have a higher number of out-of-state individuals seeking care because either their children or themselves get sick while on vacation,” she said.

The cases that are reported in Gallatin County are from residents who live in the county.

“The cases identified are reported back to local jurisdiction,” says Christenson.

People in Downtown Bozeman they say are putting COVID-19 on the back burner. Workers at a bar downtown say they used to have masks but no one was taking them, so they decided to put them away. But Christenson says it's still important to wear one.

“You can wear a mask in indoor public spaces, you can wear a mask outdoors in crowded spaces,” says Christenson.

Christenson and D’Ardenne say to still stay home if you are sick, get tested and talk with your primary care doctor about vaccines.