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Benefis Health System provides COVID update

Kaci Husted
Benefis Health System hospital in Great Falls
Posted at 6:59 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 20:59:44-04

GREAT FALLS — According to the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services, the current vaccination rate in Cascade County is 46%, and Lewis & Clark County is 57% immunized.

Immunization numbers are climbing but so are case numbers, says Kaci Husted of Benefis Health System.

Benefis says that it currently has 28 inpatients with Covid; four of those patients have been vaccinated, and 24 have not.

Husted says the capacity of the hospital can vary depending on the situation, but says they have lately been operating above 100% capacity with this recent uptick in patients.

“We’re gearing up and we’re making plans and we’re hoping that this uptick starts to subside, but as of right now, we’re starting to see more and more patients, and more and more Covid cases, and we’re trying to adapt and plan accordingly,” Husted said.

The Cascade City-County Health Department in Great Falls also has been expecting the case load to increase. Bowen Trystianson of CCHD said Benefis and the monoclonal treatment are both great resources that can help against Covid if used the right way and not in excess.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration in May 2021 issued an emergency use authorization for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy sotrovimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds]) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. This includes, for example, individuals who are 65 years of age and older or individuals who have certain medical conditions. Click here for more information.

“We need to be careful to not overuse our resources, especially here in Montana. Benefis serves way more than Great Falls,” Trystianson said. “The monoclonal treatment has been seeing lots of success. It helps take someone who would have need more intensive care out of that situation and helps alleviate more bed space in the hospital.”

There are currently 698 active cases in Cascade County; there has been a total of 195 deaths due to COVID in Cascade County.



There were 736 new COVID-19 cases reported within the last 72 hours in Montana, with 4,822 total active cases in the state as of August 30. The last time the state had more than 4,800 active cases was January 18, according to MTN data.

Information from the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services at this point does not include data on whether new cases occurred among vaccinated or unvaccinated people.

COUNTIES WITH THE MOST ACTIVE CASES

  • Yellowstone County: 145 new; 812 active
  • Flathead County: 59 new; 752 active
  • Cascade County: 49 new; 698 active
  • Missoula County: 115 new; 667 active
  • Lewis & Clark County: 49 new; 320 active
  • Gallatin County: 53 new; 213 active
  • Lake County: 21 new; 136 active
  • Ravalli County: 15 new; 133 active
  • Silver Bow County: 17 new; 110 active
  • Lincoln County: 24 new; 104 active

There were four new deaths reported; the total number of Montanans who have died due to COVID is now 1,787, according to DPHHS.

The number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID is 223. The cumulative number of hospitalizations in Montana due to the virus is 6,322, an increase of 28 since Friday. In the past seven days the state has recorded 168 hospitalizations. To date, roughly 1 in 20 (5.0%) reported COVID cases in the state have resulted in a hospitalization.

About 50% of eligible residents are now vaccinated, with 462,426 Montanans now considered fully vaccinated. The total number of doses administered is 943,374. If you want to get vaccinated, contact your county health department, or click here. There have been 126,338 cumulative cases of COVID in Montana. The cumulative number of recoveries is now 119,729. There were 10,443 new COVID tests administered since the last DPHHS report.

The information is from the DPHHS website and is current as of Monday, August 30, 2021. The state site also has county-specific data on the number of new cases, cumulative cases, vaccination rates, and more.