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New Nonprofit Tackles COVID-19 In Native, Rural Communities

May 14, 2020
Doctor with a swab test
iStock

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A new public health advocacy organization in Montana is targeting the needs of rural and Native communities responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A member of the Flathead City-County Board of Health has resigned over a controversial Kalispell physician remaining on the board. The resignation follows similar calls for Dr. Annie Bukacek’s removal.

Former Columbia Falls Superintendent Michael Nicosia resigned from the board last month over Flathead County commissioners’ refusal to remove Dr. Annie Bukacek.


Hospitals in Montana have started performing elective procedures that had been postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals are reopening in phases with additional screenings in place.

Montana’s June 2 primary election is less than a month off, and candidates are busy carving out positions, and campaigning as best they can during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of them participated in last Thursday's online forum discussing what health care providers say is the state’s rapidly deteriorating behavioral health system.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Courtesy Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Some hospitals and medical facilities in Montana are beginning to again provide elective surgeries and procedures.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) started its phased-approach to providing in-person services Monday. KRH is starting with in-person medical services not requiring anesthesia at various locations.


County health officers in Montana say residents must continue social distancing measures, even as the state mandated stay-at-home order lifts Sunday, in order to avoid future outbreaks of the COVID-19 illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Find answers to some of the questions you've asked us about coronavirus in Montana. Have more questions? Ask them here and we'll do our best to answer them. This post will be updated.

You can always find the latest Montana coronavirus and COVID-19 news here.

As Montana Prepares To Reopen, State Lacks Local COVID-19 Testing Data

Apr 24, 2020
Two Bozeman Health employees help a patient learn how to self-sample at a drive-through COVID-19 testing site Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Bozeman.
Ryan Berry / Bozeman Daily Chronicle

As Gov. Steve Bullock moves to roll back emergency measures enacted to slow the COVID-19 pandemic, he has said he’ll take a data-driven approach to reopening Montana’s economy while minimizing the risk of a second-surge outbreak.

State officials are keeping a close eye on the number of laboratory-confirmed cases. However, they aren’t tracking the number of Montanans who’ve been tested in each county, a metric national experts say is important to fully understand how the outbreak is playing out in different parts of the state.

John Smith, Jolene Brink and baby Leo Smith.
Courtesy Jolene Brink

The global pandemic turned the hopes and expectations of one young Missoula family upside down. They say the experience has fundamentally changed them, and not necessarily for the worse.

Leo Marlay Smith has a heck of a birth story. He arrived much sooner than expected when delivered late last month via an emergency c-section.

Montana will lift its stay-at-home order starting April 26. Gov. Steve Bullock says the state has flattened the curve of COVID-19 spread in the state and it's time to start reopening. But he also said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon that won't happen all at once.

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