Montana cases of COVID-19 rise, new counties see first cases

Posted at 2:39 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 16:39:31-04

Lewis and Clark, Flathead, Ravailli and Madison County all saw their first reported cases of COVID-19 Friday as the total number of cases confirmed by Montana health officials rose to more than 20.

Lewis and Clark Public Health confirmed that three county residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The patients are a man in his 30's, a woman in her 40's and a teenage boy. Public health officials say the teen boy and the male in his 30's are recovering at home. The status of the woman was not immediately clear.

Madison County and Flathead County also reported their first cases.

Details of the Ravalli County case emerged Friday night. On Saturday morning, Ravalli County Coronavirus Incident Management Team Commander Carol Calderwood said the patient was a teen girl who acquired the virus while traveling internationally. As of Saturday morning the state had yet to update its tracking site to include the Ravalli County case.

The increase counties reporting cases of the virus came as Gov. Steve Bullock took news steps to help curtail the spread. On Friday Bullock announced more testing supplies and masks were on their way to the state. He also issued a statewide order closing bars, dine-in restaurants, casinos and similar types of businesses until March 27th.

The order took effect at 8 p.m. Friday, and expires on the same time that statewide school closures are set to expire. However, Bullock said that time was chosen simply to align the two measures, and that it was very possible both orders would be extended.

For the latest news on the coronavirus and its impact on Montana and the nation please visit the KTVH Coronavirus page .