The Missoula City County Health Department and the Montana Department of Health and Human Services has reported that Missoula County has recorded its first death from the coronavirus.

Incident Commander Cindy Farr provided what few details were available.

“It’s a very sad blow to Missoula that we had the first death of a Missoula County resident,” said Farr. “We’re not releasing any further information out of wanting to protect the privacy of the family. We want to express the condolences of our team as the family, friends and loved ones are going through this difficult time right now.”

Farr said some new knowledge has come to light that may help people not spread the coronavirus to others.

“There’s some new guidance that came out from the CDC yesterday that it’s possible that you could spread the virus without knowing that you have it,” she said. “The new guidance is that if you’re going out in public around other people, such as the grocery store, that you wear a cloth mask or some other covering over your nose and your mouth, just in case you have it and haven’t started developing any symptoms yet.”

Farr said the standard protections remain in place of washing your hands thoroughly, keeping a distance of at least six feet away from people and staying at home as much as possible will also help to keep yourself and others safe.

The only information released by the health department was that the individual was of middle age or older.