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Gallatin County coronavirus cases continue to rise

Posted at 8:40 PM, Jun 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-27 22:40:16-04

The Gallitan City-County Health department health officers confirms that upticks of cases in places like West Yellowstone, Big Sky - including Montana State University - are on the rise due to traveling visitors.

Health officer Mat Kelley said with the latest confirmations of coming in every precaution could make a difference.

"Our seven day rolling average of cases is now up 50% of what it was two weeks ago," said Kelley.

That includes in tourism heavy areas of the county and Montana State University.

"We're seeing cases come from many different parts of the county. We have cases in West Yellowstone. We have a pretty sizeable outbreak in Big Sky," said Kelley. "We're working with Montana State University because we have five individuals at Montana State who have tested positive."

Each case was caught with the help of contact tracing.

While the exact locations of each outbreak go unspoken. Kelley said his department is working closely from the sources they've found to track the spread.

"We work with MSU to make sure that those individuals are supported, Kelley told MTN News. "I'm sure they are going to be doing some communication with their team, with students and staff over there to make sure they are aware that they have cases on campus."

Precautions from staying home if you are sick to washing your hands that Kelley said still hold."We need people to stay out of crowded settings. We need people, when they find themselves in those settings, to turn around and walk away."

Kelley also said while visitors to the area could be spreading the virus easily the numbers mostly rest with long term visitors."What we tend to be seeing is cases of people who live and work here or at least have a part time residence here."

And the numbers are also going up for other reasons the 14 day quarantine is gone Yellowstone National Park has reopened and businesses are opening their doors again.

For now Kelley said the board of health is not thinking about rolling back guidelines. "That's not somehting that we are not contemplating in the immediate neat term."

While cases are up 30% compared to the beginning of June nationwide Kelley said Montana's cases are still considerably low.

"We are getting case reports seven days a week and we are really working hard. We have a choice as a community that we take this seriously."