County averaging 5.5 COVID-19 cases daily

34 new cases announced Friday, over 450 people quarantined on Crow Reservation
Luella N. Brien
Friday, July 24, 2020
Article Image Alt Text
Data courtesy of Big Horn County Health Dept
The graph breaks down Big Horn County's COVID-19 cases by active cases, hospitalized cases, deaths and recoveries.
Article Image Alt Text
Data courtesy of tthe Montana Dept of Public Health and Human Services
The graph breaks down the State of Montana's COVID-19 cases by active cases, hospitalized cases, deaths and recoveries.

Big Horn County has been averaging 5.5 cases every day since July as county officials confirmed 34 total cases for Thursday and Friday.

Eight new Big Horn County COVID-19 cases were reported for July 23 by Montana health officials Friday morning, later in the day Big Horn County Public Information Officer Rhonda Johnson adjusted Thursday's numbers to 13 and reported 21 new cases for Friday.

The county added 64 cases since Sunday, July 19, which is about half of the month’s total cases. There are now 10 patients hospitalized. 

On Tuesday, Crow Tribal Police Chief Terrill Bracken announced the police department would be enforcing the tribe's stay at home order and curfew with safety checkpoints.

Bracken said in a memo posted on social media, his office was notified by the Crow Tribe's Health Department that there are 457 individuals who have been advised to "self-quarantine" due to a positive COVID-19 test result or close contact with a positive patient.

Safety checkpoints and curfew enforcement will continue through August 2, when the stay at home order expires, Bracken added.

On Thursday the county announced one detention officer and three Road/Rural Fire Department employees were infected with the virus. 

Johnson reported that as of Wednesday no inmates have tested positive at the Big Horn County Detention Center.

She added department heads are working on mitigation plans for the detention center and the roads department to prevent spread of the infection in their departments.

There were three cases reported in April, 27 cases reported in May, 44 cases in June and a total of 134 cases reported in this month as of July 21. Five patients have died from COVID-19 or complications from the illness since June.

The most recently reported cases include:

• Two girls under 10 years old.
• Two girls and one boy in their teens.
• One man and one woman in their 20s.
• Two women and four men in their 30s.
• One woman and two men in their 40s.
• Three women and two men in their 50s.
• Three women and four men in their 60s.
• Three women and three men in her 70s or older.


Cases reported this week include:

July 19
• One girl in her teens.
• One man in his 30s.
• One man in his 50s.
• One woman in her 60s.
July 20
• Two boys in their teens.
• One woman and one man in their 20s.
• One man in his 30s.
• One woman in her 40s.
• One woman and three men in her 50s.
• One woman in her 60s.
• One woman in her 70s or older.
July 21
• One boy under 10 years old.
• One girl in her teens.
• Two women in their 20s.
• One woman in her 30s.
• Two women in their 40s.
• One man in his 50s.
• One man in his 60s.
• One woman in her 70s or older.


Nearly one-quarter, or 15, of this week’s cases are attributed to community spread, while 49 of the patients were found through contact tracing by public health nursing teams from the Big Horn County Health Office in Hardin and the Crow/Northern Cheyenne Indian Health Service Public Health Department in Crow Agency. 

Recoveries from the illness have increased to 89 patients and 104 patients are quarantining and recovering at home. 

Fifty-five percent, or 114, of the county’s total cases are active cases compared to statewide numbers that show only 38% of the state’s total 3,260 cases are active. The county has 89 recovered patients, which makes up 43% of the county’s total. The state is boasting a 61% recovery rate. 

Due to an increase in testing demand, the Montana State Public Health Lab and a contracted out of state lab have a backlog of tests. Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced the state will no longer be able to process sentinel surveillance testing for asymptomatic people. 

The Associated Press on Wednesday reported Gov Bullock announced an agreement with Montana State University to complete up to 500 tests per day starting as early as next week.