ANACONDA — Anaconda-Deer Lodge County jumped from just five reported cases of COVID-19 to more than 80 in one week.
“It’s just has gone clear across the entire community,” said Anaconda Health Director Leigh Ann Holmes.
Health officials suspect the spike is due to several large social gatherings that involved people coming in from out of town.
“We had a couple of weddings and then just people visiting from out of town and it doesn’t take very long for it to just grow,” said Holmes.
Some teachers at Anaconda High School tested positive, forcing the school to go back to remote learning. Staff at the health department are working overtime, having conducted over 300 tests in the past week.
“It’s concerning, and on the other hand, we were prepared for it. We have great staff, we have a lot of people helping with volunteers coming in over the weekend,” said Holmes.
Health officials say the best thing the public can do to try to prevent further spread of this virus is to wear a mask, social distance and, if you can, stay home.
“Just be more conscientious, I think that people let their guard down, you know, we all want to get out with our friends and family, and I think just hold on a little bit longer, just be patient,” she said.