Montana Public Radio

Greg Holzman

While not explicitly stated in Montana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the state health department says pregnancy is a major medical condition that may qualify someone for a shot under the current phase.

Elle Ruis, a seventh grade math teacher at Kalispell Middle School, says she has wanted to get a COVID-19 vaccine as they’ve become more available.

“I just feel like in my job, I’m really exposed constantly to tons and tons of people and at a high risk of catching COVID,” Ruis says.

Dr. Gregory Holzman, state medical officer.
Montana DPHHS

Montana's chief medical officer is resigning from his post. Dr. Greg Holzman has led much of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to his resignation letter, Holzman will stay on as State Medical Officer until April 16 to help with vaccine distribution in Montana and his replacement’s transition. 

Gov. Greg Gianforte says Montana is seeing a trend of lower hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases but is not getting enough vaccine from the federal level.

Gianforte announced in a press conference Friday that Montana is passing a COVID-19 vaccine landmark.

"Today we are approaching a milestone with nearly 100,000 vaccines administered here in the state and nearly twenty-five thousand Montanans who have been fully immunized," he said.

A district court judge ruled from the bench Wednesday that a Bozeman bar must comply with a county health order intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Gallatin City County Health Board and health officer took Rocking R Bar to court after the popular watering hole intentionally stayed open late nine times in Nov. despite a health order curfew and warning.

Sign reading 'temporarily closed dut to coronavirus pandemic'.

Gov. Steve Bullock and health officials today asked Montanans to stay home as COVID-19 numbers flare across the state. The plea comes as the disease rises to the fourth leading cause of death in Montana and ahead of a holiday season that health experts expect will make matters worse.

Edit 9/23: A former version of this story misspelled Amesh Adalja's name and it has been corrected.

As COVID-19 cases continue to trend upward in Montana, state health officials say they’re concerned that outbreaks could further stress the state’s already thin health care system.

Montana lead epidemiologist Stacey Anderson says the recent increase in COVID-19 cases is connected to schools reopening, social gatherings and clusters among populations in close quarters, like long term care homes and correctional facilities.

Montana To Receive COVID-19 Drug Treatment

Jul 24, 2020

Next week, Montana hospitals are expected to receive hundreds more doses of an antiviral drug being used to treat COVID-19 patients. YPR News’ Kevin Trevellyan reports.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is sending 24 cases of remdesivir to Montana, enough for roughly 150 standard treatment courses.

Dr. Joshua Christensen, an infectious disease physician at Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, is relieved at the incoming shipment, but warns the drug isn’t a silver bullet.

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.

Doctor with a swab test

As of this update, the Montana state lab has tested over 500 people in Montana for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Ten of those tests have come back positive. Montana Public Radio’s Corin Cates-Carney spoke with Montana’s State Medical Officer Gregory Holzman earlier Wednesday to learn how testing is happening, who's getting tested and what to expect moving forward.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock voiced concerns Monday about ensuring medical care providers have access to supplies in the face of rising national demand caused by the novel coronavirus.