Montana Public Radio

Missoula County

A coronavirus testing swab in a test tube.
iStock

Missoula health officials have announced a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic. It’s one of several recent steps by counties in the state to set up new testing abilities to identify the novel coronavirus. But the new Missoula site isn’t open to just anyone who wants a test.

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.

CDC’s laboratory test kit for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
CDC

Missoula County public health officials are reporting two presumptively positive COVID-19 cases, the Governor’s Office announced Saturday evening.

They’re the first cases to appear in Missoula County.

Coronavirus blood test
iStock

Updated 03/13/20, 7:30 p.m
This post was updated with the info that four presumptively positive cases were confirmed in Montana Friday evening.

Montana county public health officials Friday said testing for the COVID-19 disease remains limited and there is no at-will testing for people concerned they’ve contracted the illness. Friday evening, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock confirmed four presumptively positive cases COVID-19 in the state.

Coronavirus blood test
iStock

There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montana, but experts expect that will change. If and when it does, Missoula County health officials say they’re ready.

The Missoula City-County Health Department is preparing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the same way communities prepare for wildfire or flood emergencies.

Missoula County fire officials announced Monday they will move fire danger signs to "High" effective immediately.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Missoula County fire officials announced Monday they will move fire danger signs to "high" effective immediately.

The U.S. Forest Service's Wildland Fire Assessment System shows at least two other regions with "High" fire danger — north-central and southeast Montana.

Weapons confiscated by Project Safe Neighborhoods Missoula County over the previous year, shown during a press conference, May 29, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

The City of Missoula’s violent crime rate increased 50 percent between 2011 and 2017. Authorities blame methamphetamine for that unprecedented spike in murders, robberies and aggravated assault.

Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst Wednesday shared an ugly, real world example of the kind of havoc that meth wreaks.

(L-R) Missoula Mayor John Engen, County Commissioner Cola Rowley, County Commissioner Josh Slotnick and County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier during a press conference on affordable housing in Missoula, May 28, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

More than 200 units of affordable housing are coming to Missoula, local officials announced Tuesday. It’s part of a big public-private collaboration involving several entities.

"This is a big deal, Missoula. This is a real big deal," says County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier.

Voters at the Missoula County ballot drop-off center, May 23, 2017.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


Missoula County will be one of the first in Montana to test out a new statewide election law in its upcoming school and special district elections on May 7.

“It’s not really a change for the voters. It’s a change for the people who collect the ballots," says Missoula County Election Administrator Dayna Causby.

Montana Behavioral Health Alliance Executive Director Mary Windecker testifies at a state health department listening session in Helena August 1, 2018.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s health department was dealt a major blow in late 2017, when the agency was forced to cut almost $50 million to help balance the state budget.

Mary Windecker of the Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana, an advocacy group representing about 30 addiction and mental health care providers, says that was, “A huge shock to both the mental health and substance use systems in the state of Montana.”

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