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

Bullock Addresses Increased COVID-19 Cases And Testing

Gov. Steve Bullock annonces his Coronavirus Task Force on March 3, 2020 in response to the growing number of cases reported in the United States. Bullock says the task force is a multi-agency group that will coordinate public health response.
Corin Cates-Carney
Montana Public Radio

On Wednesday, Gov. Steve Bullock said there is no doubt Montana has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases since moving into Phase 2 of its economic reopening plan in early June.

Montana has reported 766 total known cases. Nearly one-third of those were reported since June 1st. During Wednesday’s press conference, Bullock said 136 people have tested positive for the disease over the past week.

The event outlined Montana’s efforts to trace known contacts of people tested positive for COVID-19. State officials said the current increase in reported cases is tied to both economic reopening and more testing and tracing of known patients.

They also noted Montana is close to reaching Bullock’s stated goal of reaching 60,000 COVID-19 tests run a month in Montana. Jim Murphy is the chief of the state communicable diseases bureau.

“I would hope that in the month of July, if the trends continue, we’ll be meeting that 60,000 goal,” Murphy said.

There are more than 170 people known to still be sick with a COVID-19 infection. Big Horn County has the highest count with 30. There are five other counties with double-digit active cases, including Gallatin, Yellowstone, Missoula, Rosebud and Custer.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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