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Montana passes 6K mark, 117 additional COVID-19 cases reported

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Posted at 10:00 AM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 14:58:21-04

Newly released state numbers show an additional 117 confirmed COVID-19 cases are being reported on Thursday morning in Montana.

The state death toll increased from 84 to 89 on Thursday. A 15th COVID-19 related death was reported in Big Horn County.

Montana and Big Horn County have reported different death totals for the past week. We reached out to Big Horn County for clarification and they believe the state is still reporting the death of a tribal member who lived over the county line. Based on that, our figures reflect 14 deaths in Big Horn County and will be adjusted once the county and state reconcile their data.

Meanwhile, state tracking data showed two more deaths recorded in Yellowstone County as well as one COVID-19 related death in Rosebud County.

Here's the full press release from RiverStone Health:

RiverStone Health, Yellowstone County’s public health department, reports two additional COVID-19 related deaths.

On Tuesday, August 18, a man in his 60s passed away in a Yellowstone County hospital.

Also on Tuesday, August 18, a woman in her 60s passed away in a Yellowstone County hospital.

To protect the privacy of the deceased and their families, RiverStone Health will not release further information about the deaths.

These most recent deaths are reflected on the August 20 state COVID-19 tracking map.

“There are no words that can take away the sorrow of losing a loved one and we wish the deceased’s family and friends strength and peace as they grieve,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County Health Officer and RiverStone Health President and CEO.

Felton continued, “In the month of August, about one person every three days – eight total – has lost their life to COVID-19. In the month of July, we averaged about 27 new COVID-19 infections a day. There are 11 days left in the month of August and we are currently averaging 30 new positive cases a day. August is shaping up to be even more challenging than last month. With school starting next week, we must do better to bring infections down. That means wearing a mask, watching your distance and washing your hands. Staying home when ill and frequently sanitizing high-touch surfaces are also important prevention measures that we can all take.”

To date, 1,637 Yellowstone County residents have been infected with COVID-19 and 34 have died.

An additional 18 COVID-19 cases are being reported in Flathead County with Sanders County seeing six new cases. Two additional cases were reported in Missoula County and one in Ravalli County.



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The Montana Response COVID-19 tracking map shows the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Treasure State is now at 6.072.

Thursday's data shows the total number of cases in the state now stands at 6,114.

The state tracking map is reporting 6,072 cases due in part to differences in reporting by county health departments which often receive information on confirmed COVID-19 cases before state officials.

To date, 4,520 Montana residents have recovered from COVID-19.

There are currently 101 people hospitalized for COVID 19 in Montana and a total of 207,560 tests have been completed, according to the state tracking map.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Montana stands at 1,405.

A total of 89 COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded to date in the Treasure State.

* It should be noted that local health departments often learn about results from private labs and updates their numbers before the state of Montana does, Additionally, there may also be differences in reporting criteria, so the local numbers may differ from those that appear on the Montana COVID-19 tracking map.



Total Confirmed, New Daily, Active Cases by County

  • Yellowstone County Cases: 1,637 Total | 42 New | 690 Active
  • Flathead County Cases: 432 Total | 18 New | 110 Active
  • Rosebud County Cases: 109 Total | 13 New | 85 Active
  • Phillips County Cases: 104 Total | 8 New | 35 Active
  • Gallatin County Cases: 1,003 Total | 7 New | 27 Active
  • Big Horn County Cases: 558 Total | 6 New | 258 Active
  • Sanders County Cases: 26 Total | 6 New | 17 Active
  • Cascade County Cases: 190 Total | 5 New | 48 Active
  • Lewis and Clark County Cases: 185 Total | 2 New | 44 Active
  • Missoula County Cases: 392 Total | 2 New | 76 Active
  • Blaine County Cases: 15 Total | 1 New | 1 Active
  • Carbon County Cases: 81 Total | 1 New | 11 Active
  • Deer Lodge County Cases: 31 Total | 1 New | 6 Active
  • Ravalli County Cases: 90 Total | 1 New | 4 Active
  • Roosevelt County Cases: 31 Total | 1 New | 7 Active
  • Silver Bow County Cases: 107 Total | 1 New | 7 Active
  • Stillwater County Cases: 33 Total | 1 New | 9 Active
  • Sweet Grass County Cases: 8 Total | 1 New | 2 Active
  • Beaverhead County Cases: 68 Total | 0 New | 2 Active
  • Broadwater County Cases: 14 Total | 0 New | 3 Active
  • Chouteau County Cases: 10 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Custer County Cases: 62 Total | 0 New | 1 Active
  • Daniels County Cases: 3 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Dawson County Cases: 30 Total | 0 New | 8 Active
  • Fallon County Cases: 2 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Fergus County Cases: 24 Total | 0 New | 17 Active
  • Garfield County Cases: 12 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Glacier County Cases: 92 Total | 0 New | 8 Active
  • Golden Valley County Cases: 3 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Granite County Cases: 18 Total | 0 New | 12 Active
  • Hill County Cases: 48 Total | 0 New | 4 Active
  • Jefferson County Cases: 33 Total | 0 New | 18 Active
  • Judith Basin County Cases: 3 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Lake County Cases: 191 Total | 0 New | 12 Active
  • Liberty County Cases: 1 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Lincoln County Cases: 79 Total | 0 New | 3 Active
  • Madison County Cases: 88 Total | 0 New | 4 Active
  • McCone County Cases: 5 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Meagher County Cases: 4 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Mineral County Cases: 2 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Musselshell County Cases: 4 Total | 0 New | 2 Active
  • Park County Cases: 64 Total | 0 New | 2 Active
  • Pondera County Cases: 12 Total | 0 New | 1 Active
  • Powder River County Cases: 1 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Powell County Cases: 2 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Prairie County Cases: 1 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Richland County Cases: 50 Total | 0 New | 3 Active
  • Sheridan County Cases: 5 Total | 0 New | 0 Active
  • Teton County Cases: 16 Total | 0 New | 1 Active
  • Toole County Cases: 47 Total | 0 New | 2 Active
  • Treasure County Cases: 3 Total | 0 New | 1 Active
  • Valley County Cases: 36 Total | 0 New | 7 Active
  • Wheatland County Cases: 3 Total | 0 New | 1 Active
  • Wibaux County Cases: 4 Total | 0 New | 0 Active


Gov. Steve Bullock ordered all Montana public and private school buildings to require face masks, in counties with four or more active COVID-19 cases on Aug. 12. He added that “encouraging” face masks at re-opened schools won’t be enough.

Montana’s Nov. 3 general election likely will be conducted mostly – or, maybe entirely – through mail ballots, as Gov. Bullock gave county election officials the power to choose that option on Aug. 6.

Gov. Bullock ordered on July 15 that face masks be worn in indoor spaces in all counties in Montana with at least four active COVID-19 cases. Face masks will also be required for anyone attending outdoor gatherings with 50 or more people, Bullock said at a news conference in Helena. Click here for details on the directive.

Gov. Bullock announced a new partnership with Montana State University on July 22 to begin processing asymptomatic COVID-19 tests for Montana.

The City of Whitefish passed a resolution requiring the wearing of face masks in indoor public settings on July 14. The decision was made during a special meeting where the public was also allowed to comment on the proposal.

Missoula became the first major city in Montana to require the wearing of face coverings while inside in a public setting on July 9. The rule requires people over the age of 12 to wear face masks while inside in a public setting. Missoula County is the second county in the state to issue a mask mandate with Big Horn County being the first.

Gov. Bullock said on July 2 the worst may not be over – and urged Montanans to take precautions and wear face-masks in public. He stopped short of requiring face-masks in public, saying he wants it to become “socially acceptable."

Gov. Bullock announced on June 4 that Montana will be expanding COVID-19 relief grant opportunities to help small businesses, local governments and help get more Montana meat to people’s tables.

Montana moved to "phase two" of Gov. Bullock's "Reopening The Big Sky" plan on Monday, June 1. Bullock noted that Montana continues to have the lowest number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations per capita in the nation.

Bullock outlined the following indicators which prompted him - in consultation with public health officials and disaster response personnel - to move into Phase Two beginning on June 1:

  • A downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.
  • The current ability to contact and trace, along with plans to add additional contact tracers to the existing workforce.
  • Ensuring that health care workers have the supplies they need to treat COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
  • Ramping up testing capacity to eventually meet a target of 60,000 tests a month and prioritizing testing for vulnerable Montanans and tribal communities. A total of 5,600 tests were conducted last week. Increased testing continues with sentinel testing efforts in nursing homes and assisting living facilities, testing events in tribal areas, and drive through testing being conducted at a few sites.

Here are some of the highlights of phase two:

  • Avoid gatherings in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. Groups larger than 50 people should be canceled unless physical distancing can be maintained. It is recommended to continue to social distance in gatherings of any size.
  • Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos remains in the same operations status as Phase One, but with an increase to 75% capacity.
  • Gyms, indoor group fitness classes, pool, and hot tubs can operate at 75% capacity and only if they can adhere to strict physical distancing and they exercise frequent sanitation protocols.
  • Concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines.
  • All businesses are required to follow the social distancing and sanitation guidelines established in Phase One, and Montanans are strongly encouraged to continue sanitation practices, including hand washing and wearing masks in public places like grocery stores.




We know the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our community. To keep you and your family informed as we move forward, we're beginning a new series of reports. They are stories that will help all of us navigate through these uncertain times. In the coming weeks and months, we'll be focusing on “The Rebound: Montana.”

It is a series of reports, videos, and information that show our commitment to stories that will help you as our communities begin to rebound - from what you'll need to know when it's time to go back to work, to how those in the community continue to step up and help others.