Montana Public Radio

Nicky Ouellet

Yellowstone Public Radio News Director

Nicky Ouellet is the  Yellowstone Public Radio news director and MTPR's former Flathead-area reporter.

603-568-6155 or 406-730-2264

Ways to Connect

Montana Public Radio and Yellowstone Public Radio sent a list of four questions to candidates in the gubernatorial primary election, asking how they believe the state’s top executive should approach the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you head outside around 8 tonight, you might hear a cacophony of humans, faces turned toward the full moon, howling.

The daily howl is a socially-distanced cry of support for health care workers on the front lines stemming the surge of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Brie Hobbs is one such worker, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at St. Pat’s hospital in Missoula. She spoke remotely with Nicky Ouellet.

Fire officers on the Crow Reservation say they responded to a dozen small wildfires over the past week.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s stay at home directive goes into effect at midnight through April 10.

County attorneys are to enforce the directive that prohibits Montanans from leaving their homes, with exceptions for essential trips to access food, medical care, low-risk recreation and some exempted work.

A day after declaring a state of emergency in Yellowstone County, local government leaders are asking businesses, schools and other groups to document financial impacts of the novel coronavirus. County officials say this information could attract federal relief money toward the county.

School hallway.

Following Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's order Sunday to close public schools for two weeks due to detections of the novel coronavirus, districts around the state scrambled on Monday to set plans in place for remote learning and feeding students. Yellowstone Public Radio News Director Nicky Ouellet talks with MTPR's Aaron Bolton about how schools are responding to these detections.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock voiced concerns Monday about ensuring medical care providers have access to supplies in the face of rising national demand caused by the novel coronavirus.

CDC’s laboratory test kit for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Missoula County public health officials are reporting two presumptively positive COVID-19 cases, the Governor’s Office announced Saturday evening.

They’re the first cases to appear in Missoula County.

Yellowstone County Commissioners have approved a centralized community-testing site at the Sandstone Building at MetraPark in anticipation of public demand for testing for the COVID-19 illnesses.

The facility is not yet open and no dates were mentioned in a Saturday press release from Unified Health Command (UHC), a coalition of area hospitals and the county health and emergency services departments. 

Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare will open interim testing sites for patients on Monday, Mar. 16.

Coronavirus blood test

Updated 03/13/20, 7:30 p.m
This post was updated with the info that four presumptively positive cases were confirmed in Montana Friday evening.

Montana county public health officials Friday said testing for the COVID-19 disease remains limited and there is no at-will testing for people concerned they’ve contracted the illness. Friday evening, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock confirmed four presumptively positive cases COVID-19 in the state.