Montana Public Radio


Montana school staff can now schedule with select pharmacies to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The state health department is reviewing this federal directive, announced earlier this week.

Walgreens’ automated COVID-19 vaccine scheduling message now includes educators and childcare workers alongside those who qualify under the state’s vaccination plan, currently in Phase 1B.

Montana hit two milestones Friday in the COVID-19 pandemic. State data shows the number of fully immunized Montanans surpassed the threshold of 100,000 people, about 10 percent of the state’s population. There are also more fully immunized people (105,977) in Montana now than the total number of COVID-19 cases (100,656) since last March.

A woman receives the COVID-19 vaccine at the Bozeman fairgrounds, January 6, 2021.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Missoula County is holding off on moving to the phase 1B+ COVID-19 vaccination group recently announced by Gov. Greg Gianforte. The county Friday said too many residents in the previous phase are waiting for their first shot.

COVID-19 U.K. Variant Detected In Montana

Mar 3, 2021

A variant strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been detected for the first time in Montana.

The Montana state health department Wednesday confirmed three cases of the U.K. variant in Gallatin County.

Jon Ebelt, public information officer with the state health department, told YPR News all three individuals had recovered and the state is working with Gallatin County to learn more about the cases.

“We have been preparing for this, conducting surveillance for COVID-19 variant strains for several weeks, so this comes as no surprise,” Ebelt says.

Children’s Hospitals Grapple With Young Covid ‘Long Haulers’

Mar 3, 2021
A coronavirus testing swab in a test tube.

A slumber party to celebrate Delaney DePue’s 15th birthday last summer marked a new chapter — one defined by illness and uncertainty.

The teen from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, tested positive for covid-19 about a week later, said her mother, Sara, leaving her bedridden with flu-like symptoms. However, her expected recovery never came.

Freshman enrollment at tribal community colleges and Universities in Montana dropped by more than a 25% during the Fall of 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, many schools shifted to online classes, most for the first time ever. That speedy shift reduced total student enrollment at tribal colleges in Montana and nationwide.

Gov. Gianforte Announces Phase 1B+ To Begin Monday

Mar 2, 2021

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte on a Tuesday press call said, with the majority of jurisdictions halfway through the current COVID-19 vaccination phase, the state is expanding who is eligible for a shot with a special “plus” category starting Monday, March 8.

Gianforte said Phase 1B+ will include Montanans in their 60s and people 16 to 59 years of age with additional underlying health conditions, including asthma, cystic fibrosis and liver disease.

COVID-19 Vaccines Allocated Per 100,000 Adults By State.
Data from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Political figures in the state have said over the last month that Montana isn’t getting its fair share of COVID-19 vaccines. 

"I still think we’re owed more vaccinations," Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a press conference this week. 

Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton dug into those claims and shared his reporting with MTPR’s News Director Corin Cates-Carney. 

The Montana House Monday offered support to a bill that would limit government civil liability for COVID-19-related issues. Lawmakers also voted down two bills that would’ve impacted public unions.