Cascade County adds 30 new COVID-19 cases Sept. 11
The Cascade County City-County Health Department said Sept. 11 that there are 30 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county.
That brings the county’s total to 421 with 162 active cases, according to the state map.
Statewide, the case total is 8,785 with 1,859 active cases and 113 deaths, five of which have been in Cascade County.
The new cases are:
- 1 female under 20
- 1 male under 20
- 2 females in their 20s
- 2 males in their 20s
- 1 female in their 30s
- 3 males in their 30s
- 5 females in their 40s
- 2 females in their 50s
- 2 males in their 50s
- 2 females in their 60s
Trisha Gardner, county health officer, said there are two county residents currently hospitalized. There may be more people in local hospitals, but they are likely from other surrounding counties, she said.
Gardner said some of today’s new cases are associated with the outbreak at the jail and two of them are associated with Great Falls Public Schools. She said the district is expected to release additional information this afternoon.
The two new cases at GFPS have about 30 contacts that CCHD will be monitoring, Gardner said, and the initial four positive cases had 45 close contacts, bringing the total people being monitored to 70-75 in connection with the GFPS cases.
For the jail cases, they’re being monitored by jail staff while they’re inside the facility. If they’re released, CCHD takes over monitoring.
Gardner said Alluvion Health is conducting weekly COVID-19 tests of everyone at the jail but if someone shows symptoms in between those times, the medical staff at the jail can also administer the test.
According to CCHD, the new cases are isolated and contact investigations are underway.
Trisha Gardner, county health officer, told The Electric that there are rumors going around town of different strains of COVID-19, including that the strain involved in the outbreak at the Cascade County Detention Center is a milder form.
Gardner said that right now, none of the reputable agencies are reporting significantly different strains of the virus and that the testing doesn’t currently identify whether there are different strains.
She said that most people at the jail who tested positive have had mild symptoms but for now, there’s no way to know if it’s a different strain.
She said that viruses do typically mutate and various strains develop, but whether there are strains of COVID-19 and what they entail likely won’t be known until later.
Gardner said that typically when a person tests positive for COVID, their healthcare provider and CCHD are notified at the same time.
She said that CCHD lets the provider to the notification of tests results, baring any extenuating circumstances, and then CCHD contacts the person to start contact tracing.
Gardner said that there are two ways people are released from isolation when they test positive, following the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
If they had symptoms, the clock starts at the onset of symptoms as Day 0. To be released, it has to have been 10 days since symptom onset and at least 24 hours fever free and improvement of any symptoms, particularly cough and shortness of breath, Gardner said.
If the person didn’t have symptoms, Day 0 is the day they took the test and the isolation period is 10 days.