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

Billings Correctional Facility Adds Six COVID-19 Cases

Nicky Ouellet
Yellowstone Public Radio

Six more residents of a corrections facility in Billings have tested positive for COVID-19 amid a steep rise in cases in the county where it’s located.

Four new cases were discovered after all Alpha House pre-release center residents were tested July 9. Another two cases came from individuals who displayed symptoms before testing, making eight infected facility residents in total.

“So we have a better feel for where we really are. We hope," says David Armstrong, CEO of Alternatives, Inc., which runs Alpha House for the Montana Department of Corrections.

Armstrong says the eight infected individuals are isolated among three rooms at Alpha House, while the remaining 162 residents remain quarantined with their typical roommates

Montana health officials on July 13 reported 85 new cases of COVID-19 statewide. The largest increase, 37 cases, came in Yellowstone County, where Alpha House is located.

Three additional deaths related to the coronavirus were announced over the weekend, bringing the state’s total number to 32.

An assisted living facility in Billings reported the deaths of two women in their 90s. Seven residents of Canyon Creek Memory Care have died so far after contracting the virus.

The third death was a woman in her 70s in Big Horn County.

Montana also confirmed 252 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday through Monday, marking one of its highest three-day totals.

Montana’s rate of infections still trails most of the nation. But the number of cases has risen sharply over the last month as restrictions eased.


Copyright 2020 Yellowstone Public Radio

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Kevin is a UM Journalism graduate student and reporter for MTPR.
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