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Custer County reported a new cluster of six related COVID-19 cases June 17. As a result, county health officials today issued a two-week recommendation for residents to operate as if they’re back under Phase 1 of Montana’s economic reopening plan.

A snapshot testing site run by the Flathead Community Health Center began testing local workers in West Glacier, Mont. June 16, 2020.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

COVID-19 testing sites are starting to open in tourism hotspots as Montana begins its Community Snapshot Testing Initiative. The program is part of the state’s effort to detect outbreaks early as it welcomes back out-of-state visitors.


Montana’s health department distributed between $84 million and $163 million in Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program benefits to people ineligible for those programs, according to an audit presented to lawmakers June 16. State officials emphatically reject several of the audit’s key findings.

Screenshot - Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Tribal Health website announces youth education social media campaign on COVID-19
Screenshot captured 06-16-20 at https://myemail.constantcontact.com/KIID-TRUTH--CSKT-INNOVATIVE-CAMPAIGN-LAUNCHES.html?soid=1129174657753&aid=RLn0iXVoFmA / Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Tribal Health

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes launched a social media campaign last week aimed at local kids, who tribal leaders fear aren’t taking the risk of COVID-19 seriously.

Low-Cost Classes Can Help Montana Seniors Stay Fit

Jun 12, 2020
Montana State University Extension Agent Jane Wolery, near right, leads class participants in seated leg lifts at a session of the StrongPeople class last fall in the Choteau Baptist Church fellowship hall.
Vonnie Jacobson/Choteau Acantha


As Montana’s aging population continues to grow (18.9% of Montanans are now age 65 or older), rural residents face the same aging challenges as their urban counterparts but often with fewer resources.

A low-cost, high-benefit strength-training program offered through Montana State University Extension may be one solution for how seniors living in small towns can access a fitness program that will help them age well.

Montana Air National Guard planes.
UNK - Montana Air National Guard

A U.S. Department of Defense report says the National Guard’s suicide rate is higher than its active duty and Reserve counterparts. DoD says there are several suicide risk factors in the military, including a cultural stigma surrounding psychological health care.

The Montana Air National Guard is testing out one of 23 pilot programs in the nation aimed at getting care to soldiers in new ways. MTPR’s Edward O’Brien introduces us to a career Montana military officer who, during one of her life’s darkest chapters, reached out for help and was thrown a lifeline.

A county in southeast Montana is issuing a new round of health orders after two dozen cases of the COVID-19 illness were recently identified there through testing.

Crow Nation Latest To Host Mass COVID-19 Testing Event

May 29, 2020


As Montana scales up COVID-19 testing while preparing to enter phase two of the state's economic reopening plan, mass surveillance drive-thru testing sites popped up in Crow Agency and Hardin this week.

Vaccination
CDC/ Judy Schmidt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of vaccines being given to children for diseases like polio and hepatitis B has fallen dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic.

Montana’s public health departments and providers, seeing the same decline, are concerned it could lead to an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease and pull resources away from the COVID-19 response.

Restaurant window in Missoula, MT with a sign saying 'open for distant dining or delivery.'
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Starting June 1 Montana will no longer require out-of-state travelers to quarantine for 14 days. Gov. Steve Bullock also announced Phase 2 of the state’s economic reopening plan during a press conference Tuesday.

Montana takes another step toward reopening, with the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the country.

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