New daily COVID record is set

By 
Luella N. Brien
Thursday, July 30, 2020
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Big Horn County reported 35 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, which is a new one-day record, county officials said.

Eleven cases were attributed to community spread and seven were found through contact tracing, Big Horn County Public Information Officer Rhonda Johnson said in a press release.

The county added 112 cases since Sunday, July 19, which is nearly half of the county's total 256 cases. There are now eight patients hospitalized.

Last week, 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 182 cases reported in this month as of July 28. Five patients have died from COVID-19 or complications from the illness since June.

The most recently reported cases include: One girl and four boys under 10 years old; two women in their 20s; two men in their 30s; one woman and one man in their 40s; one woman and one man in their 50s; two women and two men in their 60s; and one woman and one man in their 70s or older.

Recoveries from the illness have increased to 110 patients and 133 patients are quarantining and recovering at home.

Fifty-five percent, or 114, of the county’s total cases are active cases. The county has 110 recovered patients, which makes up 42% of the county’s total.

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 would no longer be able to process sentinel surveillance testing for asymptomatic people.

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

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