Lewis and Clark Public Health reports community spread of COVID-19

Posted at 10:23 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 12:23:55-04

HELENA — Lewis and Clark Public Health reported Thursday morning that they are seeing cases of community spread COVID-19.

According to the county, community spread is based on patients where exposure is unknown and can't be traced to travel or to a known case.

The health department also noted that the virus has been detected in city sewage. A sewage sample from East Helena on June 30th show genetic fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Lab results found the concentration of virus fragments in the water put the estimate at around 15 active cases in East Helena around the sampling period.

Health officials say this is the first positive sewage sample since wastewater sampling began in May.

Results from the most recent sampling of Helena wastewater are pending.

As of Thursday morning the state showed Lewis and Clark County with 49 active cases.

The State of Montana reported another 134 new cases and one death over a 24 hour period. Currently 37 people are hospitalized by the virus.