Montana Public Radio

Matt Kelley

Over 100 people connected to a construction site at Spanish Peaks Mountain Club in Big Sky tested positive for COVID-19 in July.

According to the County Health Officer Matt Kelley, CrossHarbor Capital, the owner of the Yellowstone Club and a parent company of Spanish Peaks Mountain Club and Moonlight Basin, hired a private company called Matrix Medical to do surveillance testing, follow-up with people who tested positive and perform contact tracing.

'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.

Montana officials announced 67 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, breaking the state’s record for the most new cases in a single day. Health officials worry large gatherings for the Fourth of July could accelerate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The State of Montana reported its second highest single day uptick in COVID-19 cases on Jun. 30. This comes after a new record count was set earlier this week.

Health officials say the results from wastewater sampling in West Yellowstone align with five new COVID-19 cases.

Protesters at the Missoula courthouse June, 2, 2020. The death of George Floyd, a black man in Minnesota killed while in police custody, spurred protests across the country.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Protests in Montana over the death of George Floyd have remained peaceful, unlike others seen in large cities across the country. Montana police officers say they want to keep it that way, and denounce the excessive use of force by law enforcement. At the same time, public health officials are trying to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as groups gather.

COVID-19 guidelines for tourists during phase 2 of Montana's reopening.
Montana Disaster and Emergency Services

On June 1, Montana will enter into Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney and YPR's Nicky Ouellet explain what that means for individuals, businesses and tourists.

Find more information about what COVID-19 restrictions are in place in Montana.

A Montana State University team will start testing Big Sky’s wastewater this week to help track whether the novel coronavirus is trending up or down in the resort town.

As Yellowstone National Park moves closer to releasing its reopening plan, the community next to its busiest entrance is working on boosting its ability to test residents, workers and visitors for the COVID-19 illness. 


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.

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