Montana Public Radio

Yellowstone County

Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s stay at home directive goes into effect at midnight through April 10.

County attorneys are to enforce the directive that prohibits Montanans from leaving their homes, with exceptions for essential trips to access food, medical care, low-risk recreation and some exempted work.

Coronavirus Report: Billings

Mar 20, 2020
Cass Sullivan snapped a photo of her father, Pat, seen through the window of his room at a senior-living facility in Billings, when she visited him last week, and later posted it on Facebook.
Courtesy of Cass Sullivan

We’ve asked reporters in communities around the state to file stories about how their towns are responding to the emerging presence of coronavirus. We’ll be publishing them in this space as they come in. News is changing fast during this ongoing story. These reports are necessarily snapshots in time. They may become outdated quickly. This piece was reported over the weekend of March 14-15, and published Monday, March 16.

A day after declaring a state of emergency in Yellowstone County, local government leaders are asking businesses, schools and other groups to document financial impacts of the novel coronavirus. County officials say this information could attract federal relief money toward the county.

Yellowstone County Commissioners have approved a centralized community-testing site at the Sandstone Building at MetraPark in anticipation of public demand for testing for the COVID-19 illnesses.

The facility is not yet open and no dates were mentioned in a Saturday press release from Unified Health Command (UHC), a coalition of area hospitals and the county health and emergency services departments. 

Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare will open interim testing sites for patients on Monday, Mar. 16.

Montana COVID-19 Cases by County, 03-13-20
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

03/14/20 6:15 p.m.

The COVID-19 situation in Montana is changing quickly. Find the latest information here: Montana Coronavirus And COVID-19 News

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.

 


A group of government agencies and Yellowstone county organizations have released a plan they say will cut back on drug-related crime and addiction in the region. 

Community leaders, health care providers and media got their first look at the overall health of Yellowstone County with the release of the latest health needs assessment on Feb. 10.  Mental health, substance abuse and obesity top the list.

 


Montana’s most populated county may be reaching an economic equilibrium following a drop in oil prices in 2014 thanks to a strong base of manufacturing support services. 

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