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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Montana To Report Non-Resident COVID-19 Cases

Doctor with a swab test
Doctor with a swab test. Stock photo.

As Montana reopens its economy to tourists, Gov. Steve Bullock said during a press conference Wednesday that the state will begin alerting the public about non-residents who test positive for COVID-19 while in Montana.

“It’s in the best interest of folks in our state to know if someone has the virus in their community, even if they’re only there for a short time being,” he said.

Since the state dropped a two-week quarantine order for non-residents on June 1, five people visiting from out of state have tested positive, according to Bullock. But the governor declined to offer any details about where those people visited, where they were tested and whether they might still be in the state. He did say Montana would soon include non-resident positives on its coronavirus tracker.

Flathead County has already modified its local COVID-19 dashboard to reflect out-of-state cases. Health Officer Hillary Hanson explained why.

“We feel like this is important information for our community, particularly in an area where we see a high number of tourists,” she said. “And provides a better picture to our community members about what’s happening with COVID.”

Hanson added there is one active out-of-state case in the county, and that that person is isolating locally.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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