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Missoula's senior care facilities see new surge of COVID-19

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Posted at 9:44 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 10:31:00-04

MISSOULA — The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) reports over 50 active COVID-19 cases across nine senior living facilities in the county.

Even when coronavirus spreads through the younger populations, health officials say our elderly populations receive the brunt of the virus.

“When we see this huge spike in cases, we know that there's going to be a chance that it is going to bleed into our senior living facilities and, you know, part of it is people who work there, a part of it is visitors, part of it is that residents are allowed to leave and go do things with their families,” said COVID Incident Commander Cindy Farr.

With the nature of this disease and how easily it spreads, senior care facilities will now see even more restrictions than before.

“I know that a lot of people are really concerned that the social isolation is going to really be hard for folks that are living in these senior living facilities,” said Farr, “but at this point, we're seeing enough cases in enough senior living facilities that we really have to stop the spread.”

A new health order will be issued later this week to outline stricter rules, but Farr reminds the community that these restrictions won’t last forever. Right now, it’s just about slowing the spread and waiting for the threat to pass.

The key point to remember now is how our individual decisions can impact the most vulnerable population.

“You may be young and healthy and you may not be at high risk, it may affect you very mildly and you just get over it, but you do have the chance that you could spread that on to someone that could have really bad outcomes from this.”