Montana Public Radio


Montana Coronavirus And COVID-19 News

15 hours ago
The novel coronavirus.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention


Montana added 937 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases today. The state reports that 15 more Montanans have died from the virus. Montana’s total death count stands at 713.

According to health department data, more than 2,686 COVID-19 tests were conducted Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall testing total to more than 660,000. 

Gov. Steve Bullock on Dec. 2 announced Montana could receive its first COVID-19 vaccine shipment of around 10,000 doses by mid December.

Bullock said Montana is expected to receive roughly 9,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine’s initial shipment, potentially by Dec. 15 or 16.

Bullock said there are an estimated 45,000 - 65,000 health care workers in the state and they’re at the front of the line to receive vaccines once approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

Flathead Health Officer Resigns In The Face Of ‘Toxic Environment’

Dec 1, 2020
Interim Flathead City-County Health Officer Tamalee St. James Robinson appears via video in Flathead County District Court on Nov. 12, 2020.
Hunter D’Antuono / Flathead Beacon

In the heat of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Montana, Flathead County’s interim public health officer is resigning. 

On Nov. 27, Tamalee St. James Robinson told the Flathead County Commission and the Flathead City-County Board of Health that she will step down from her position Dec. 31. She also wrote that she will not be returning to her seat on the health board, which she had temporarily vacated over the summer to take over for the county’s previous health officer, who left for another job. 


A new mental health crisis hotline is now available to Montanans struggling with the ongoing emotional impacts of the global pandemic.

The Montana Crisis Recovery Hotline funded by a $1.6 million federal grant program is open to all Montanans but specifically targeted at Native Americans, students, health care workers and residents of communities hit hardest by COVID-19.

Just stay home. That’s what the Montana Nurses Association is asking Montanans to do for the next few weeks as coronavirus cases continue to surge and strain the state’s health care system. YPR News’ Nicky Ouellet spoke with MNA Chief Executive Officer Vicky Byrd over Zoom about the mitigation efforts they’re asking the public and elected officials to take now to save lives.

Nicky Ouellet: Vicky, thanks so much for taking time to chat with me today.

Vicky Byrd: Thanks for having me.

Vaccine stock photo.

Montana health Officials held a meeting Tuesday with various stakeholders on their plan to distribute forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines.

Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton listened in on that meeting and he joins us now to walk us through what we know and don’t know, at this point about vaccination distribution plans in Montana. 

The Montana Nurses Association implored state lawmakers in a letter to heed public health guidance as they plan for the 2021 legislative session. It’s unclear how or if lawmakers will change their traditional gatherings amid the pandemic. 

Health care worker holding a clipboard.

Two-hundred traveling medical workers deploying to Montana hospitals hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic will arrive before Thanksgiving. Governor Steve Bullock announced the boost in medical staffing Monday.

Lewis and Clark County public health officials are recommending the 2021 legislative session be held remotely amid growing concerns of COVID-19 spread this winter. The recommendation comes a day after lawmakers gathered in the statehouse for caucus meetings. 

Sign on a business door that says 'Attention: for the safety of our patrons and employees, masks are required for entry. Thank you for helpping slow the spread of COVID-19.'

Five businesses in Flathead County are filing counterclaims asking for a jury trial after they were sued by the state for allegedly not complying with the governor’s COVID-19 mandates.