The Goldstone Assisted Living facility at 5200 9th Avenue South in Great Falls said today that it was recently notified of "multiple" positive COVID-19 cases among its residents and staff. The news release did not indicate how many cases have been confirmed.
On August 4th, the City-County Health Department said it had identified an outbreak of six COVID-19 cases in connection with a long-term care facility in Cascade County, but due to privacy regulations, did not release the name or location of the facility. MTN News has asked Goldstone whether it is the facility involved in the August 4th announcement, but we have not yet received a response.
To date, there have been 167 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cascade County; of those, 55 are currently active, 108 have recovered, and four have died. One of those deaths, according to the CCHD, was linked to the care facility outbreak. The CCHD said on Wednesday that three people are currently hospitalized in Cascade County.
Goldstone said in a news release that staff and residents participated in Governor Steve Bullock's sentinel testing event on June 29th, and all test results were negative for the virus. On July 28th, a resident was hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19 the following day.
Goldstone implemented quarantine measures for all staff and residents and scheduled testing for all staff and residents. The testing was conducted on July 30th at the Goldstone. Additional group testing took place on August 3rd and 6th, and another round of testing is scheduled for Thursday, August 13th.
The Goldstone, which has 14 private rooms according to its website, has notified family members of residents about the situation and is communicating with families to answer questions.
The news release from Goldstone also includes the following information:
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Goldstone has closely monitored and implemented guidance for long-term care facilities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have been in regular contact with the Montana State Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS) Communicable Disease Program and the City-County Health Department, and are working with a local infectious disease consultant.
Admittance to the Goldstone has been restricted since early spring. Only staff and health professionals have been allowed to enter the building. All visiting health professionals and staff were screened upon entry—including temperature checks, being required to wear masks, and hand sanitizing protocols. These precautions continue. The source of the infection is undetermined, and the Goldstone is working with CCHD on contact tracing. Residents and staff will continue to be tested weekly going forward. Staff are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) and all residents are staying in their rooms to prevent potential transmission. Any resident or staff with symptoms will immediately be isolated and tested.
We are grateful for the support from the community, staff and residents’ families. Protecting the well-being of our residents and staff remains our top priority. To honor the privacy of our residents and their families, no further comment will be issued at this time. Please keep us in your prayers and do everything you can to protect the vulnerable people in your life.
Montana added 175 new cases to the total on the Montana Response COVID-19 tracking map on Wednesday morning. Yellowstone County reported the most new cases with 75, followed by Rosebud County with 24. Big Horn County reported 16 new cases, Phillips County reported 15, and Gallatin County reported 12 new cases. The data below is from the official Montana website on August 12th:
- TOTAL CASES & RECOVERIES: Montana now reports 5,268 cumulative cases statewide, with 3,598 people recovered.
- HOSPITALIZATIONS: There are currently 97 patients hospitalized, an increase of 20 from Tuesday. There have been 301 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
- DEATHS: The cumulative number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Montana is now 80, an increase of three since Tuesday.
- ACTIVE CASES: The state reports there are currently 1,590 active COVID-19 cases in Montana.
- TESTING: The number of tests increased by 1,624 over the previous 24-hour reporting period, for a new cumulative state-wide total of 196,036.
Numbers reported by the state each day occasionally differ from those reported by county public health departments due to periodic lag times in reporting data to the state. We encourage people to check the official website and/or Facebook page of their respective county health department for any updates that are not yet included in the state's daily updates.