There are no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 illness in Montana. However, a Montana resident from Lake County visiting Maryland has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Public health officials say the patient did not have the virus while in Montana.
“Since the case was announced earlier today, public health officials have been working nonstop to learn more about this case and can now confirm the patient did not have coronavirus while she was in Montana,” Montana Governor Steve Bullock said. “We will continue to monitor the patient in Maryland and remain committed to preparing for coronavirus to reach Montana.”
Maryland investigators reported to the Montana health department that the patient was last in Montana on November 2019 and did not have the virus at that time.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies the patient as a Montana case because the patient is a resident of Montana.
The 70-year-old is being treated at a hospital in Maryland.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s office first announced the news on Twitter Wednesday morning and later held a press conference:
“They came to visit a family member in Maryland and didn't feel well,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said. “And luckily we handled the situation, I think, the way it was supposed to be handled. And then our health department reported it to their home state, which is the way the guidelines follow. Then I personally reached out to the Montana governor to let him know.”
The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
Public health officials recommend staying home if sick, covering your cough and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue, avoiding contact with sick people when possible and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth and washing hands frequently.
Montana does not have a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in the state.