The daily count of new COVID 19 cases numbered 62 on Thursday, according to Health Department Incident Commander Cindy Farr.

“We got 62 new cases overnight since yesterday and so that puts us at 210 active cases,” said Farr. “We've got seven people in the hospital. Three are Missoula county residents, four are from out of county, and we've got over 700 close contacts that we're monitoring right now. That number is going to jump significantly as we get farther into the contact investigation on these 62 new cases.”

Farr explains the new positive case numbers.

“The groups right now, let me look at this little graph,” she said. “I think 74% of our cases are under the age of 30 at this time, and so, we know that most of the time people who are under the age of 30 are pretty healthy and have less chronic conditions, and so if we start seeing those numbers jump into our older age groups, then we're going to start seeing more severe disease and that could potentially start impacting our healthcare system.”

Farr said the chance that the flu may combine with COVID 19 is still fairly far off, but the health department will be on the lookout for the first cases of the flu.

“The symptoms are similar to COVID 19,” she said. “They can be, and so we're definitely keeping an eye on that. We haven't yet seen any flu cases in the US. Sometimes it can start around October and sometimes it can start as late as January when we start to see flu cases. And so we're definitely just keeping an eye on that and encouraging people that if they do get tested for COVID, and it's negative, consider getting tested for the flu as well.”

Farr praised the Mustard Seed Restaurant for it’s response to one case of COVID in their back room staff. She said the restaurant did not have to close, but is taking all the right steps to correct the issue, and hopes they will reopen soon.

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