Montana Public Radio

Hillary Hanson

Nurse in a mask sitting, looking tired.

More Montana public health workers are quitting their jobs as they face mounting stress, and in some cases, threats, because of their work during the pandemic. The loss of experience could complicate the work of health departments now and in the future.


Montana is now home to a public health institute. The Montana Public Health Institute is one of about 40 such institutes across the country.  The nonprofit will work to bolster the state’s public health system by bringing policy analysis and funding to county and tribal health departments.

Doctor with a swab test

As Montana reopens its economy to tourists, Gov. Steve Bullock said during a press conference Wednesday that the state will begin alerting the public about non-residents who test positive for COVID-19 while in Montana.

Empty school classroom

School districts across northwest Montana met with public health officials last week to begin preparing for potential impacts from the novel coronavirus. Flathead County health officials asked schools to give basic hygiene information to students and staff.

Public health officials want schools to craft plans for potential closures and remote instruction. Federal and state guidance does not suggest schools close in communities without coronavirus cases.


Eighteen Montanans have died of the flu this season. The state health department says that all but three counties have reported at least one case of influenza, for a total just shy of 2,000 infections statewide.