Montana Public Radio

COVID-19

courtesy of The Hot Sardines

Elizabeth Bougerol, co-leader and singer with The Hot Sardines, joins host John Floridis by phone to talk about the band's genesis. During their COVID-19-enforced performing hiatus, members of the band have been composing new music.

Closeup of a mask on a person's face.
iStock

Over the past month, health officers in two rural Montana counties have resigned over disagreements with county officials and residents over local coronavirus response plans.

Ravalli County Health Officer Dr. Carol Calderwood gave her resignation letter to county commissioners this weekend, over what she called “locally elected officials’ decision to disobey the Governor’s Directives without my input.”

The novel coronavirus.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

On Monday, Yellowstone County health officials announced two more deaths have been tied to an outbreak of coronavirus at a Canyon Creek Memory Care in Billings. Including the weekend deaths, 12 of the facility’s residents raise the facility’s residents have died from the respiratory virus in the past two weeks.

Campaign Beat: Fundraising, Schools And The Politics Of Masks

Jul 17, 2020

Gov. Bullock's mask mandate becomes a political football with one conservative commentator predicting "mass civil disobedience.” Office of Public Instruction Superintendent Elsie Arntzen gets into a public feud with the governor over school reopenings. And new fundraising numbers and polls show Montana's top races up for grabs.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Records: Montana Governor Feared Backlash Over Mask Mandate

Jul 17, 2020

Gov. Steve Bullock's statewide mask mandate came after hundreds of Montana residents, business owners and health care leaders demanded the move as virus cases mounted in the state, records obtained by The Associated Press reveal.

Active COVID-19 Cases in Montana by County, July 17, 2020.
Montana Department of Public Health And Human Services

For the third day in a row, Montana has added more than 100 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. That brings the state’s total number of active infections to more than 1,300. Rural counties in the northwest corner of the state are seeing large spikes in cases.

'Up Until Two Weeks Ago, It Was Working'

Jul 17, 2020

As COVID-19 outbreaks increase nationwide, Montana's early warning system falters.

This story is republished with permission from the Montana Free Press. 

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Montana, surveillance testing designed to serve as an early warning system to prevent large outbreaks and keep businesses open is increasingly becoming ineffective, public health officials told Montana Free Press.


Democratic members of a Montana legislative committee prematurely left a meeting today in what one lawmaker is calling a protest of Republicans not wearing face masks at the Capitol.

The chairman of Crow Nation issued an executive order July 16 extending a reservation-wide “Stay at your place of residence” order until Aug. 31.

Montana Rodeo Goes On, Bucking Fears On Fort Peck Reservation

Jul 17, 2020
Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede rodeo contestants got a temperature check before entering the arena and were not allowed to cross over to the fans’ side of the stadium.
Katheryn Houghton for Kaiser Health News

WOLF POINT, Mont. — Cowboys lined the metal chutes that released bucking horses and their riders into the arena, Miss Rodeo Montana signed autographs for fans, and coronavirus warning signs ended with “Face mask usage is of personal choice.”

Most of the rodeo riders and audience at the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede appeared to skip masks, despite public health recommendations and increasing pressure to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases spiking across Montana and much of the U.S.

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