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Health Board: increased testing could lead to more cases


Last updated 6/8/2020 at 11:34am

The Hill County Health Board met Friday and provided an update about other counties decisions to hold their county fairs.

Havre Daily News attempted to attend the meeting via GotoMeeting but was unable to connect, but was provided minutes of the meeting.

Sen. Russ Tempel, R-Chester., said  Toole, Liberty, Glacier and Pondera County have decided to continue with the Marias Fair in Shelby, but haven’t figured how to do 4-H safely. 

He said the counties plan to clean bathrooms every two hours and more details are yet to be figured out. 

Hill County canceled its fair last Tuesday.

Shelby will have a virtual live auction for 4-H, but no interviews, he said.

Hill County Health Officer Jessica Sheehy reported Friday that currently 203 tests have been completed for COVID-19 and three are pending. One test, back in March, was positive, and 299 have been negative. 

Increased testing with surveillance could result in increased cases along with entering into Phase two of the state re-opening, she said.

The health department continues to test primarily symptomatic individuals, she said, adding that they are also continuing to educate and provide guidance for people who want to hold events.  

Hill County Public Health Director Kim Larson was not present at Friday’s meeting, but Hill County Commissioner Mike Wendland read her report.

The report said she said she has  spent most of her week answering community members’ questions and concerns regarding planning events in Hill County. 

People are very interested in working with the health department, she said, to ensure they are having safe events during this time. 

New guidelines for bars, restaurants and casinos went into effect Friday that allow for changes in seating arrangements and extended hours, she added.

Larson said with more testing the county is likely to see more cases.

The next meeting of the Hill County Board of Health will be held June 19  at 1 p.m. via GoToMeeting. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/805108917  or join by phone 866-899-4679 Access Code: 805-108-917 .


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