MISSOULA — Missoula County COVID-19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr offered up the latest information on the coronavirus in the below video.
There are still 41 COVID-19 cases in Missoula County as of Friday which remains unchanged since Wednesday. One COVID-19 related death has been reported and over 30 people have recovered. Nine people remain in isolation in Missoula County.
Farr discusses case numbers in Missoula County, testing criteria, including why it doesn't make sense to test asymptomatic people and the availability (or lack of) antibody testing during Friday's briefing.
Officials plan to discuss the guidelines for a phased reopening of Missoula County at 3 p.m. on Friday.
It should be noted that the Missoula City-County Health Department often finds out results from private labs and updates numbers before the state and there are also differences in reporting criteria, so the local numbers may differ from those that appear on the Montana COVID-19 tracking map.
For example, the state does not report epidemiologically linked cases. Cases that are “epi-linked” developed symptoms while in quarantine after being identified as close contacts to cases that tested positive. Epi-linked cases are isolated and monitored by public health, just like lab-confirmed positive cases.
Missoula County is continuing to see signs of community spread, meaning that there are cases where exposure can no longer be traced to another positive case or connected to travel.
The health department is continuing to emphasize the importance of social distancing, which means avoiding crowds and providing distance between yourself and another person when interacting. Businesses, groups, and other organizations are encouraged to find different ways of delivering services and holding meetings and events.
Whenever possible, stay home, limit exposure to large crowds, and use technology to meet your needs. Anyone who is in the vulnerable population should recognize they are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and should limit exposure as much as possible.
There are mental health resources and information available for residents who are in need of help. Click here for details on what services are available.
Anyone who has arrived in Missoula County after having traveled out of state in the past 14 days is asked to contact local health officials at (406) 258-3896. This applies to all travel, including vehicle travel.
The Missoula County COVID-19 info line can be reached by calling (406) 258-INFO weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional local information about the coronavirus situation can be found here.