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Lewis and Clark sees increase in community spread of COVID – Helena Independent Record

Lewis and Clark sees increase in community spread of COVID




Lewis and Clark County Public Health Officer Drenda Niemann speak at a July 1 press conference at Lewis and Clark Public Health.

Lewis and Clark County Public Health Officer Drenda Niemann speak at a July 1 press conference at Lewis and Clark Public Health.



THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record


Lewis and Clark County is seeing an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases that were transmitted by community spread, according to Lewis and Clark Public Health.

On early Thursday morning, the county announced a total of 57 cases of COVID within the county. Thirty six of those cases are currently active while 21 are listed as recovered. There have been cases in all areas of the county.

The county reports that it is working closely with local, state and federal partners as well as local medical providers to respond to this public health threat. The primary goal is to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the continued impact.

The county is urging residents to continue the practices of social distancing, hand sanitation and wearing face masks.

“If people continue to blatantly disregard medical and public health professionals, this virus is going to continue to spread and the situation will get worse,” Drenda Niemann, LCPH health officer, said in a statement. “We will see higher numbers, our medical and public health capacities will eventually be overwhelmed, and people will see loved ones die.”

The county also recently detected SARS-CoV-2 in city sewage. A sampling of sewage taken on June 30 showed genetic fragments of this virus in East Helena. This is the first positive result since testing has begun.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus which causes COVID-19 in humans. The health department views this as further evidence of community spread. Based on the sampling, the health department estimates that around 15 active cases were in East Helena at that time.

This story will be updated.

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The mandate comes as Montana again set a record for the number of cases added in a single day, with 145 new cases reported Wednesday.

Gov. Steve Bullock’s mask mandate for Montana applies to some indoor and outdoor situations, and is effective immediately.

Seventy-two of the new cases are in Gallatin County and 27 of the new cases are in Yellowstone County.

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