In a press conference in Helena on Wednesday, Montana Governor Steve Bullock outlined the increase in COVID 19 numbers throughout the state, but six counties in particular, Missoula being one.

“Six counties in Montana represent 65% of all the new reported cases,” said Bullock. “That's Yellowstone, Roosevelt, Missoula Flathead, Cascade and Gallatin. Significant increases in cases were also noted in community transmission in Glacier and Roosevelt counties, as well as with a cluster associated with Montana State University.”

Bullock thanked those Montanans who are following state guidelines to reduce the spread, but also called out those who don’t seem to take the pandemic seriously.

“In some ways there are also Montanans who are acting as if this virus no longer exists,” he said. “And if the past couple of weeks isn't evidence enough one only needs to look back to where we were when we first gradually reopened the state in late spring. Then, the curve was flat and the virus hardly made an appearance in our communities. Now more than ever, we need all Montanans and businesses to act as though this virus is still in our midst, because it is, more so than we've ever seen since before COVID-19 entered into our state.”

Bullock detailed the testing that is going on continuously throughout the state.

“Montana State University is now performing on average at least 1000 tests a day five days a week,” he said. “We continue to utilize the MAKO lab with up to 2000 tests a day seven days a week, and our state lab ramped up its capacity significantly adding more testing equipment that now allows the lab to process about 1300 tests each day. This increase in testing equipment has led us to maximize the number of tests with current staff but also decreased the amount of time it takes to process these tests.”

Physicians are concerned because the cold and flu season is fast advancing, and the combination of those ailments and COVID could overwhelm medical facilities.
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