Death in Blaine County resident, more COVID-19 cases reported
New case in Havre schools, Hill County Board of Health considering restrictions, Rocky Boy going into lockdown,
Last updated 10/11/2020 at 9:20am
Blaine County Health Department has reported the first COVID-19-related death in a county resident, as more cases continue being confirmed in the region and across the state and a new case was confirmed in the Havre school district.
More lockdowns are occurring in the area, increased restrictions are being considered and more businesses are closing down temporarily due to the pandemic.
The Blaine County Health Department reported Friday evening one of the Blaine County residents confirmed to have the disease had died that day and that nine more cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in county residents.
Hill County Health Department reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the county, a slight drop from the record 34 cases reported Thursday evening, and has confirmed five deaths.
Rocky Boy Health Center reported Friday that six new cases had been confirmed at the center, which are included either in the Hill County or Chouteau County totals.
Chouteau County Health Department reported Friday evening that new cases were confirmed there, although it did not list the number of new cases.
The state tracking map reported Friday morning that five new cases were reported in Chouteau County Thursday and two new cases were reported in Liberty County that day.
The state tracking map should be updated about 10 this morning, although its data sometimes conflicts with health department data as information is updated.
The state map Friday morning listed 715 new cases in Montana, a new record for one-day totals, with 206 deaths. The state listed 266 current hospitalizations, with a total of 868 hospitalizations since the virus was first confirmed in Montana in March, with 17,399 total cases confirmed in the state, 6,330 active cases and 10,863 cases recovered.
New case in Havre Public Schools
Havre Public Schools announced Friday evening that another person associated with the District had tested positive for COVID-19, with the positive test confirmed Friday evening.
The person last had contact with other people in the school district at Sunnyside School Monday, Oct. 5, the release said, and the person has not been at the school since then.
"Havre Public Schools Nurse Jeri Erickson and the Hill County Health Department continue the arduous task of contact tracing," the release said.
The release said any person in the district suspected of being exposed will be contacted by the county health department to determine a safe and appropriate course of action. It is still recommended that any person who feels sick or ill seek out their medical provider for specific instructions, the release said.
The release said the district is in contact with the county health department and reviewing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to complete cleaning the school and other related facilities.
Other steps taken by the district include the continuation of social and physical distancing, the use of face coverings and frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing, the release said. People can contact Interim Superintendent Craig Mueller for details about these measures.
School officials will continue to monitor the situation and will provide additional information if and when it becomes available, the release said.
The Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting Friday before the case was confirmed in which the board voted to continue with the hybrid-blended model the district now is using for teaching through next week. In that model, the students are split into two groups, each attending in-school classes two days and having one day for distanced learning only.
The schools' operations will again be reviewed during the board's regular meeting Tuesday evening.
Hill County Board of Health looking at restrictions
The Hill County Board of Health said during its COVID-19 update meeting Friday that it was looking at making some changes on restrictions to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The board conducted an online survey of county residents on what they thought should be done and said it would be reviewing those suggestions and referring to recommendations including from the state health department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation is again going into lockdown, starting a two-week period of lockdown Sunday at 6 p.m. and running through Sunday, Oct. 25, at 6 a.m.
The Fort Belknap Indian Community council issued a stay-at-home order for Fort Belknap Indian Reservation Oct. 2.
More and more businesses in Havre are temporarily closing due to the pandemic, with several already re-opened.
See more on business closures in Monday's edition of the Havre Daily News.
Local totals reported by agencies and the state tracking map show Hill County with 333 total cases, 132 active and three currently hospitalized and five deaths.
Rocky Boy reports 50 active cases, 42 active on the reservation, which also are included in Chouteau or Hill county totals.
Blaine County reports 77 total cases with 77 active and two hospitalized and one death.
Chouteau County reports 10 active cases and Liberty County reports five active cases. Current totals on cases in those counties were not available at the time this article was written.