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

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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.

Five Native American tribes and voting rights organizations are challenging a new Montana law that limits the number of ballots a person can deliver on others’ behalf. The lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to put a stop to the law before the June 2 primary.

We now know what Montana’s primary ballots will look on June 2. Monday marked the final day for Montana candidates to file for office. 

The C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls is postponing its annual art auction due to the potential infectious risk of coronavirus.

No other Western Art Week shows scheduled for Mar. 18 to 22 had announced plans to postpone as of Monday afternoon.

Early season boat inspections have begun in the northwest corner of Montana in an effort to block aquatic invasive species.

Full funding for a federal purse that supports local conservation projects seems a step closer to reality. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators Mar. 4 announced presidential support for a bill to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the maintenance backlog for the country’s National Parks.

A federal task force created to improve investigations of missing and murdered indigenous people on Mar. 2 announced a series of listening sessions and consultations, including one in Billings.

Gallatin County commissioners voted unanimously on Feb. 4 to offer up to six weeks of paid parental leave to county employees. It’s the second Montana county to offer the benefit.