Third COVID-19 death in Cascade County; new cases confirmed; state testing caught up

The Cascade County City-County Health Department announced Aug. 6 the third COVID-19 related death in the county, related to the recent outbreak at a local long-term care facility.

The male was over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions, according to CCHD.

CCHD identifies COVID-19 outbreak in connection with long-term care facility

“I am saddened at the death of this man, and I mourn with his family and loved ones as they face this loss,” Trisha Gardner, county health officer, said in a release. “We know that COVID-19 is particularly dangerous to older adults. I hope that everyone in our community will think of their own vulnerable loved ones and take every precaution to slow the spread of this virus.”

Out of respect for the family, no further details will be released.

Aug. 4 update: New COVID cases confirmed in Cascade County

As of Aug. 6, there are 65 total deaths listed on the state COVID-19 map. This death will be recorded on the map tomorrow, according to CCHD.

There were five new confirmed cases in the county on Aug. 5 and another two on Aug. 6, according to the state.

That brings the Cascade County total to 161 and of those, 51 are active, according to the state map.

Here are the Aug. 5 case details:

  • 2 Males in their 60s
  • 1 Female in her 80s
  • 1 Female in her 40s
  • 1 Male in his 30s

All were found through contact tracing, according to CCHD.

CCHD continues to recommend frequent and thorough handwashing, regular disinfection of high-touch surfaces, distancing and wearing masks or face coverings in public indoor spaces as mandated by Gov. Steve Bullock’s July 15 directive.

During an Aug, 6 press briefing, Bullock said that the test backlog at Quest Diagnostics was now caught up and in during the last week of July more than 20,000 tests were conducted at the state lab. Bullock said that 10,000 tests have already been processed at a lab in North Carolina that the state contracted with in July.

Bullock said those test results are being returned within 2-3 days or arrival at the lab.

Montana State University is also standing up a testing lab and is wrapping up validation of their equipment and should be be able to start testing soon, Bullock said.

Cascade County remains one of the nine hotspot counties in the state with more than 50 active cases, Bullock said.

State health officials have been in touch with local health officers in those counties to determine what needs to be done to gain control of the spread, but for now, no new restrictions are being implemented, Bullock said.

Instead, Bullock and health officials are reminding people to follow the health guidelines already in place.

“To keep moving forward, we must move together and we must work together,” Bullock said.