Montana Public Radio

Montana Department of Health and Human Services

COVID-19 Cases In Montana Schools Double

Sep 25, 2020

Twice as many schools in Montana are reporting more than twice as many cases of the novel coronavirus among students and stuff over the week prior.

In a weekly report released Wednesday, the state health department announced 62 more schools reported coronavirus cases than the previous week, for a total of 121 schools kindergarten through university statewide.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

The state’s budget has healthy reserves to make up for revenue shortfalls amid economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to state finance experts.

On Wednesday, Legislative Fiscal Division staff presented a report predicting the state’s reserves can cover projected losses through the next fiscal year, but that the rainy day fund will be weaker by the 2023 biennium.

The most recent data analysis this week by Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services revealed more about COVID-19’s impact on Native Americans. 

Last weekend, Montana saw its biggest spike yet in COVID-19 cases. YPR reports how the disease is impacting Native Americans across the state.

A vape device with flavor liquids.
iStock

The state health department wants to resurrect a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales in Montana. A temporary ban enacted late last year expired several months ago, and now the agency wants to permanently ban the sale of almost all flavored e-cigarette products.

Some Montana vape retailers are vowing to push back hard on the idea, leading to what may be the next legal battleground between those retailers and the administration of Gov. Steve Bullock.

Mother with her baby.
iStock

Montana families needing a little extra help right with nutrition and food services should not hesitate to apply for the Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, program.

That message from state health department officials, like Jamie Palagi who says the COVID-19 pandemic continues to economically stress many young families.

A social-distancing sign at a grocery story.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana is starting two new programs for tourism education and business safety as the state enters the second phase of its economic reopening plan on June 1.

Starting June 1, out-of-state travelers will no longer have a two-week quarantine requirement when coming into Montana.

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.

Empty school classroom
iStock

It’s been six weeks since the coronavirus pandemic shifted Montana’s public school districts to remote and online learning, and some school counselors are struggling to check in with students. Counselors say the lack of daily face-to-face interactions may prevent some from getting the help they need.

A microscopic view of the COVID-19 virus
NIAID/RML

The COVID-19 virus has officials with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.