Montana Public Radio

Bozeman Health

An image of someone receiving a vaccination pulled from the CDC site on 01.12.21.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Montana’s frontline health care workers are receiving their second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, guaranteeing fewer will become infected with the virus. But hospitals are not changing quarantine policies for vaccinated workers exposed to COVID-19, meaning staffing capacity will likely continue to be an issue in hospitals across the state.

Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines July 22 reiterated the federal government’s intention to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine within the calendar year during a roundtable with a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and nearly a dozen hospital and public health experts across the Treasure State.

Daines struck an urgent tone while discussing progress on domestic vaccine production.

“Because as you know, every day matters. We’re seeing hospitalizations spike, COVID-19 positive tests. Time is of the essence," he said.

 

This story is part of a series that looks at potentially lasting ways Montana adapted during the pandemic. It’s funded in part by the Solutions Journalism Network. 

Businesses across the state found themselves making new products in response to pandemic shortages. Montana companies pivoted from manufacturing items like fishing waders and craft spirits to gowns and disinfectant and kept people employed in the process. 

Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Courtesy Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Some hospitals and medical facilities in Montana are beginning to again provide elective surgeries and procedures.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) started its phased-approach to providing in-person services Monday. KRH is starting with in-person medical services not requiring anesthesia at various locations.

Bozeman Health says that within a month, it will be able to analyze COVID-19 swabs on site. The regional health giant says this could reduce the wait time for results to less than an hour.

A newborn baby in a hospital.
iStock

Hospitals in southwest Montana say Helena patients with high-risk pregnancies will soon have access to a new women's and children's health care team from Bozeman.

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There's a new effort underway in the state to better connect hospitals, doctors' offices and other health care providers. Like, through the internet. That's not really happening much now, and it's frustrating to doctors like Michael Vlases with Bozeman Health: