Montana Public Radio

Coronavirus

Find the latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana here. This post will be updated daily, with newer information at the top.

Montana's COVID-19 restrictions

You can also find more Montana-related coronavirus information from the state health department, as well as updates from the CDC and tips for preventing and dealing with COVID-19.

Montana Coronavirus And COVID-19 News

14 hours ago
The novel coronavirus.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Update 10/21/20

A county health board in north-central Montana Wednesday approved a proposal to set a threshold for new COVID-19 cases that, if surpassed, will trigger stricter restrictions on social gatherings and capacity in bars, restaurants and casinos. 

As Montana sees a surge in COVID-19 cases, medical facilities, particularly within tribal nations, are being pushed to their limits.

Kaci Wallette is a nurse at the Poplar Community Hospital, a facility in northeast Montana, where a full staff consists of three nurses and three certified nursing assistants.

In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, the hardest hit areas were big cities, from Seattle to New York. But now, eight months after the crisis hit the U.S, new cases are surging in some small towns and rural areas around the country.

Colorado is among more than a dozen states that set a seven-day record for positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET Thursday

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has broadened the definition of what it means to be a "close contact" of a person with COVID-19.

Previous language defined a close contact as someone who spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed case.

The CDC now defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise In Montana Schools

17 hours ago

The number of total COVID-19 cases associated with K-12 schools in Montana has doubled over a two week stretch, according to the most recent state data. Gallatin County has started releasing supplemental weekly reports with new CDC metrics to help schools make decisions.

Over 600 students and more than 250 K-12 staff across the state tested positive for the coronavirus through Oct. 9.

Montana 2020 Unemployment Claims By Type.
Montana Department of Labor & Industry

Montana has sent over $1 billion in unemployment benefits to residents since the start of the pandemic. The state passed that milestone in October. As unemployment payments climbed during the pandemic, so did fraud.

Theme parks in California say new state guidelines will keep them closed indefinitely, affecting hundreds of thousands of workers and businesses across the state. The presidents of Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other theme parks say they're considering all options to speed their reopening, including potential legal action.

For Salem, Mass., the horror this year isn't the appearance of goblins on Halloween, but visitors hoping to hang out in the witchcraft capital of the U.S. Because of the coronavirus, local officials want to discourage the very tourists that boost the city's economy.

Here are the steps Salem is taking to repel crowds — and hopefully COVID-19:

All the traditional Halloween events are canceled. Businesses are asked to close early this coming Friday and Saturday, and presumably for the following weekend, which includes Halloween on Oct 31.

Health officials in Michigan issued a stay-in-place order for undergraduate students at the University of Michigan, effective immediately, as new confirmed coronavirus cases spike. One big exception: Football.

The public health directive does not apply to varsity student athletes, who are exempt and allowed to take part in practices and competitions.

Washtenaw County, which includes University of Michigan's campus in Ann Arbor, announced the order Tuesday. It is effective through 7 a.m. on Nov. 3.

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