Montana officials discuss 2 recent clusters of COVID-19 cases

Posted at 7:28 AM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 11:59:46-04

HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock discussed two separate clusters of cases of COVID-19 that were recently found in Big Horn and Yellowstone counties on Monday.

The Yellowstone County cluster has been linked to the Yellowstone County jail.

State Medical Officer Doctor Greg Holzman said cluster cases are still under investigation, but the state has been able to link all of the cases to an origin.

“So we’re not seeing community spread at this point in time in either places, but we want to continue to get in front of it with our contact tracing to make sure the outbreak does not get larger,” said Holzman.

Hozlman said community spread is where an origin can not be determined and has yet to be documented in the state.

“I want to underscore that for every positive case we have right now in Montana, there’s not one case in Montana where we haven’t been able to identify where exactly that positive transmission came from,” added Bullock.

Gov. Bullock said, at this time, he is not considering going back to phase one for the state, but noted local county officials can increase restrictions if they feel it is necessary.

The state is actively looking at ways to limit any spread from tourists, but say fortunately most tourists come to Montana to spend their time outdoors.

“We know this virus is still here,” said Gov. Bullock. “I think the Big Horn County and Yellowstone County -- and even the cases we’ve had in Gallatin -- underscore the importance of really getting on top of cases early and doing the community tracing efforts to ensure that what could be a small handful of cases doesn’t get out of hand.”

There were 40 new cases of COVID-19 identified in Montana between May 25 and June 1 – including 22 in Big Horn County and 12 in Yellowstone County.