HELENA — There were 656 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Montana on Wednesday, and the statewide death toll reached 804, according to data compiled by MTN News during a 24-hour period.
The number of active cases in the state is currently 16,867, according to MTN News, and there has been a cumulative total of 70,661 cases of the virus in Montana. Of the total cases, 52,990 have recovered.
There are currently 490 people hospitalized for treatment of the virus, and the cumulative number of hospitalizations is 2,963.
The number of tests performed in the state has reached 699,468, an increase of 2,590 during the previous 24-hour reporting period.
NOTE: The disparity between state data from the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and local data from county health departments continues to grow as COVID-19 cases escalate in Montana. MTN has decided to use a combination of these sources to deliver more accurate information across all media platforms. Local county health departments may be alerted to cases before DPHHS. As those counties share that information with the public, MTN feels it should be reflected in our reporting. Using that local data means there will be times when MTN coronavirus data does not align with the state report. Click here for the Montana COVID site.
RESTRICTIONS: Tighter statewide restrictions went into effect on Nov. 20 due to the continuing increase in the number of cases and deaths. Masks will be required in all counties regardless of the number of active cases. Capacity at restaurants, bars, and casinos will be reduced to 50%, with a limit of six people per table. The businesses must close by 10 p.m. Public gatherings will also be limited to 25 people where social distancing is not possible. Click here to read the full text of the directive.
CONTEXT: Not every person who tests positive actually becomes ill or exhibits symptoms. Many do not; of those who do become sick, some experience mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization. Others, however, do require hospitalization, as noted in the daily update on the number of people hospitalized. However, every person who tests positive for COVID-19 has the potential to spread the virus to other people, including family members and friends, which is why public health officials continue to encourage everyone to wear a mask and maintain at least the recommended six feet of "social distance" when in public. The CDC released data in late August which emphasizes that people with contributing or chronic medical conditions are at much greater risk of dying from COVID-19. Click here to read more.
Click here for information on how to contact county or tribal health departments.