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Letter to the Editor - Montana no longer last best place in pandemic?

 


Editor,

In March, coronavirus came to Montana, peaking on April 2 with 24 new cases, many in Bozeman, just as cases in Idaho clustered in the Sun Valley ski area. Gov. Bullock wisely acted aggressively, including requiring people entering Montana to quarantine. During April and May Montana’s first wave flattened, and there were zero coronavirus deaths last month. We were and still are the state with the fewest coronavirus cases per 100,000 population, but that’s changing fast.

On June 24, we had 23 new cases in Montana, one short of our April peak, now clustered around Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. We’re among 11 states where new cases have more than doubled in June. According to the website CovidActNow.org, “Montana is at risk of an outbreak.”

We should: require, not suggest, masks in indoor public places; test people as they enter our national parks; and quarantine visitors from hot spot states like Arizona and Texas, as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are now doing. The European Union is even about to exclude visitors from the U.S. altogether. Folks, it’s time to get tough with this virus!

Jerome Walker, M.D.

Missoula

Editor’s note: After this letter was received, Montana confirmed 37 new cases in one day Thursday.

 

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