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Hill County Health Board to discuss new plans to combat COVID-19 surge

Contact tracers following 322 in quarantine


Last updated 10/11/2020 at 9:20am

Hill County Public Health Director and Health Officer Kim Larson announced today that the Hill County Health Board will be considering ideas for how to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the county based on suggestions collected from the public in the past week.

That comes as the county set a new record on daily confirmations, with 34 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the county Thursday.

The state also set a new record, with 715 new cases confirmed Thursday and the death toll rising to 206.

Larson said the most popular among these suggestions are enforcing Gov. Bullock's mask mandate and shutting down schools, bars and casinos.

These new considerations are in response to the recent surge of COVID-19 in Hill County, which she said is extremely concerning and causing the health department to be stretched thin.

"Last week at this time we were at 199 cases in Hill County, currently we're at 305," Larson said. "Our active cases went from 56 to 117 ... our contact tracers are following 322 people who are in quarantine."

She said most of these cases are coming from congregate settings, schools, and social gatherings, and the surge is causing the health department to be stretched thin.

Larson said last week the department sent out a post requesting input from the community members to get a feel for where is and what the community wants them to do.

She said the constructive ideas were sent to members of the health board of yesterday and she's asked them to look at it and come together to implement something to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"What's currently in place right now, what our community members are doing, and not doing, is not working," she said. " ... Our numbers are increasing very quickly and we need to slow it down."

She said she wants members of the board to examine suggestions in preparation to meet and discuss what to do for the community.

Hill County Commissioner and Health Board Member Mark Peterson said he's not in favor of shutting businesses down.

"We start closing business down again and we're just not going to have a city with any kind of economy at all," he said.

Larson said the local economy is part of what the health department considers, but people in the community need to step up and do their part to slow the spread if they want to minimize harm to that economy.


Watch for more in Monday's edition of The Havre Daily News.


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