By Tim Leeds 

Hill County confirms 14th COVID-19 case

People urged to use caution, wear masks, use social distancing

 

Last updated 7/13/2020 at 11:31am



Hill County Health Department confirmed Sunday another case of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total to 14 with 13 confirmed in less than two weeks.

That comes as cases continue to climb in the state, with the governor and other state and health officials urging people to use precautions to reduce the spread of the virus.

The numbers continue to surge in Montana, with the state closing in on 2,000 confirmed cases and the death toll climbing as well.

Montana had 32 confirmed deaths listed on this morning’s update of the state COVID-19 map, available online through a link at https://montana.maps.arcgis.com .

The map listed 85 new confirmed cases including the Hill County case, with a total of 1,843 in the state.

Liberty County has one case, which was confirmed in March, and Chouteau and Blaine counties still do not have any confirmed cases.

The number has skyrocketed as the governor has implemented phased re-openings following closing schools, churches and businesses in March.

The total in the state April 1 was 208 cases with five deaths.

By May 1, the state total was 453 with 16 deaths.

Gov. Steve Bullock and many local officials have not yet put more restrictive requirements in place despite the surge, with officials urging people to use precautions to slow the spread.

But some restrictions have gone higher and more cancellations are happening as well.

Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation went into a lockdown last week with confirmed cases on the reservation, and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation also has put in more restrictions.

Fort Peck Summer Theatre announced two weeks ago it was cancelling its summer season, including the reprisals of the performances by Hollywood legend Ed Asner and MAT performers Jay Pyette and Kate Hagen of “God Help Us.”

Testing is continuing to increase, including surveillance testing last week in Havre and Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, the second held at Rocky Boy, and a second set of surveillance testing set at Fort Belknap Indian Reservation later this week.


That testing will happen Thursday at the Fort Belknap Agency and in Hays Thursday and again at the agency Friday.

The testing will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Horse Capture Park at the agency and at St. Paul’s Mission in Hays Thursday.

Testing will resume at the agency from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

Bullock and other state and health officials are urging people to use caution to prevent the spread of the virus, including not going out if it is not needed and using social distancing — staying at least 6 feet away from others — if they do go out. People are urged to wear masks when they are out, and practice sanitation like washing their hands regularly and disinfecting surfaces in their homes and workplaces.


Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention also provides a detailed list what people should do:

“There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

“The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

“Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

“Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

“These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

“Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.”

Everyone Should

“Wash your hands often

“Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

“It’s especially important to wash:

“Before eating or preparing food.

“Before touching your face.

“After using the restroom.

“After leaving a public place.

“After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

“After handling your cloth face covering.

“After changing a diaper.

“After caring for someone sick.

“After touching animals or pets.

“If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

“Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.”

Avoid close contact

“Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

“If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.

“Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.

“Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.

“Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.

“Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

“You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.

“The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

“Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

“Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

“Do NOT use a facemask meant for a health care worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

“Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.”

Cover coughs and sneezes

“Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.

“Throw used tissues in the trash.

“Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.”

Clean and disinfect

“Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

‘If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

“Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfects will work.

Monitor Your Health Daily

“Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

“Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.

“Take your temperature if symptoms develop.

“Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.

“Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

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Visit http://cdc.gov for more on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s information on COVID-19.

 

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