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Active COVID Cases Down To Five In County

The Montana VA Health Care System is starting to administer COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans, spouses and caregivers this week as a result of bipartisan legislation championed by Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee chairman U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.. President Joe Biden signed the Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse Act (SAVE LIVES Act) into law last week, allowing VA to provide COVID vaccination services to veterans and their families, regardless of whether they are enrolled in VA health care.

Tester visited the Kalispell VA vaccine clinic on Monday where he spoke with volunteers, staff, and veterans about Montana’s vaccine distribution. The Montana VA Health Care System announced that it administered COVID-19 vaccines to eligible veterans and their spouses during this event, with 300 additional vaccines going to Billings.

Veterans who would like to verify their eligibility to receive a COVID-19 vaccine under Tester’s SAVE LIVES Act, must contact (877) 468-8387 select Option 2, and then Option 2 again. This includes Priority 8e and 8g Veterans. Once eligibility is verified, qualifying veterans, their spouses or veteran caregivers can schedule a vaccination at any of the upcoming Montana VA COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

After exhibiting mild symptoms on Sunday, April 4, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte was tested for COVID-19 on Monday, April 5, and received a positive result. First lady Susan Gianforte has been tested and is awaiting her results.

The governor received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, April 1. According to the CDC, the vaccine does not cause a positive result on tests for the coronavirus. The governor is isolating for 10 days, according to a release, on the instructions of his doctors and public health officials. The governor said he has notified all individuals with whom he may have had close contact. Gianforte’s in-person events have been canceled and the governor will continue to conduct his duties and manage the state’s business from his home in Bozeman.

The governor’s staff was tested early Tuesday morning. At press time, those results are pending. The governor said he and his staff have been tested regularly since he was sworn into office.

Area Statistics

As of Sunday, April 4, Roosevelt County has five active cases and no current hospitalization. There have been 53 COVID-related deaths reported in the county. As of Monday, April 5, Valley County’s active count was four. There have been 847 recovered cases and 11 reported COVID-reported deaths.

Daniels County had zero active cases as of Monday, April 5. The county has 190 recovered cases and 197 cumulative cases. Seven deaths have occurred due to COVID-19 and/or complications. There are no cases currently hospitalized.

In McCone County, there are no active cases as of Monday, April 5. There are 182 recovered cases. There has been one COVID-related death in the county.

The Phillips County Health Department was reporting two active cases as of Friday, April 2. Five hundred and four cases are listed as recovered. There are four active hospitalizations and 17 reported COVID-related deaths.

For Richland County, there are no active cases and 1,194 recovered cases as of Wednesday, March 30. Total deaths are 16. There have been 1,210 total cases.


According to Montana health officials, the state’s total number of known cases now stands at 104,163 since the start of the pandemic. There have been 1,190,831 tests conducted.

Around the state, there are 1,051 active cases. There are 44 active hospitalizations.

By Tuesday, April 6, a total of 1,466 deaths have been reported statewide. A total of 102,625 people are listed as recovered.

Several health mandates for Montana put into effect by former Gov. Steve Bullock were removed by new Gov. Greg Gianforte Jan. 15: Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos no longer have to close at 10 p.m. Gianforte encourages businesses to follow public health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, but the governor removed capacity limits for businesses.

Gianforte issued a directive and an executive order on Friday, Feb. 12. The directive rescinds and replaces all prior directives implementing Executive Order 2-2021, which the governor issued on Jan. 13. Consistent with the governor’s announcement on Wednesday, Feb. 10, the new directive allows the statewide mask mandate to expire. Local jurisdictions may still choose to implement their own mask requirements. Gianforte emphasized how providing incentives and encouraging personal responsibility are more effective than imposing unenforceable government mandates.

On Feb. 10, Gianforte signed S.B. 65 into law which provides a liability shield to businesses, nonprofits, and others who protect their workers, their customers, and their clients from the spread of COVID-19.

In keeping with Gianforte’s Jan. 13 directive which removed restrictions on hours of service and capacity for businesses, the latest directive continues to encourage businesses to adopt industry best practices or public health guidance to protect their employees and customers. The directive also continues to promote the use of telehealth services, protect vulnerable Montanans from eviction or foreclosure, ease of licensing for health care professionals and a reduction in regulatory burdens.

Vaccine Doses

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services’ dashboard features county by county breakdown as far as vaccination numbers.

In Roosevelt County, 3,840 total doses have been administered. There have been 1,676 fully immunizations.

As of Monday, April 5, 525,584 total doses have been administered in Montana. There are 210,952 fully immunized Montanans.

The dashboard can be found at MapSeries/index.html?appid=7c-34f3412536439491adcc2103421d4b.

Press Conference

Get your vaccination shots for COVID. That’s the message that Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte stressed during a press conference on Wednesday, March 31.

“Our trend lines remain encouraging,” Gianforte said. “The reason for that is the vaccines are safe and effective.”

Gianforte noted how the state’s COVID numbers keep improving during a press conference on Wednesday, March 31.

He said there were 546 new cases daily in Montana during December. That number decreased to 353 in January, 190 in February and 107 in March.

Daily hospitalizations have decreased from 300 in December to 165 in January to 55 in March.

“This is real progress,” Gianforte said.

Vaccines became available for all Montanans, 16 years or older, on Thursday, April 1. Gianforte received his first dose on that day.

“These vaccines are saving lives,” Gianforte said. “Getting vaccines will help us protect our families and friends.”

Gianforte has issued a directive to reduce barriers to vaccine administration in pharmacies across Montana.

The directive authorizes pharmacists to use any health care provider, who is licensed by Montana or another state and who is qualified to administer vaccines under his or her scope of practice, to assist in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the state of emergency.

The directive also temporarily waives a restriction on the number of pharmacy technicians a registered pharmacist may supervise for the purpose of administering the COVID-19 vaccine and conducting associated administrative duties and procedures.

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