MISSOULA - Missoula County health officials say the current COVID-19 spike is slowing despite the emergence of the omicron and delta variants.
Missoula County Health Officer D’Shane Barnett says over the one-month period from Dec. 8 to January 7, unvaccinated individuals under 80 years old were six times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19.
He also said the comparative death rate was 20 times higher for unvaccinated people.
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Barnett also tells us testing capacity doubled at the health department amid the current spike and at one point they were testing four people every five minutes.
At that rate, if 1% of Missoulians needed a test it would take 25 hours.
We are still in the midst of the spike, and it’s unknown when the caseload will reduce significantly, but health officials say there are indications it may be slowing down right now.
"Where we're looking at is potentially the data are showing that maybe instead of going 120 miles an hour, maybe we slow down to 100 miles an hour. We are still well over the speed limit,” Barnett said.
Data from the Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) on Wednesday shows 328 new and 3,035 active cases are being reported.
A total of 24,906 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Missoula County including 21,673 recoveries and 198 deaths.
The Montana COVID-19 state tracking map shows 75,296 Missoula County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 representing 65% of the eligible population.
The latest Missoula County COVID-19 vaccine information can be found online at https://www.missoulainfo.com/ or by calling 406-258-4636.