GFPS, CCHD will share COVID information as released by state; GFPS announces new case that requires cancellation of GFH volleyball for two weeks
Cascade County hit 500 total COVID-19 cases on Sept. 18.
According to the state map, the county added 17 new cases Friday.
The county has 242 current active cases, according to the state map.
The Sept. 18 case details, according to CCHD, are:
- 3 males age 10-19
- 3 females in their 20s
- 3 males in their 20s
- 1 female in her 30s
- 3 females in her 40s
- 1 female in her 50s
- 1 male in his 60s
- 1 female in her 70s
- 1 male in his 70s
Statewide, there were 224 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s total to 9,871. Of those, 2,225 are active and 105 are currently hospitalized.
In sharing information about COVID-19 cases related to schools, the Great Falls Public Schools district and Cascade County City-County Health Department have adjusted their approach.
On Sept. 18, GFPS administrators, nursing staff and CCHD officials identified a COVID-19 positive case identified with Great Falls High School.
“This case will require the cancelation of all Great Falls High girls’ volleyball games this weekend and next weekend, Saturday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 26. All volleyball practices will be canceled as well. The state requirements for contact tracing, isolation and quarantining of students and staff involved will be followed. In addition, the necessary sanitation and cleaning of the appropriate facilities and equipment will be occurring over the weekend,” according to a GFPS post on Friday afternoon.
Earlier on Friday, CCHD posted that one new case from Thursday has been tied to GFPS and is a female aged 10-19.
In a post Thursday evening, CCHD said it would share the same information released by the state weekly. The state is releasing the number of cases by school in counties statewide. The state released the first list of data earlier this week.
Earlier this week, but after Gov. Steve Bullock had announced that it would be sharing school level data for schools with more than 50 students, CCHD said it would not release the number of cases per school indicating it would be a HIPAA violation.
That announcement came after both GFPS and CCHD had said the number of cases per school in a press conference and GFPS had sent press releases for the positive cases and closed Great Falls High for a small outbreak.
On Sept. 18, CCHD said it and GFPS were working with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services on what information can be shared.
That same day, CCHD said there were two new cases tied to GFPS, both males ages 10-19. That evening, GFPS said there was another case tied to Great Falls High School.
That brings the total to 19 cases associated with GFPS.
“For the sake of transparency, the state has made the decision to begin reporting information about cases in schools on a weekly basis. Protections are built in to ensure privacy for smaller schools. CCHD will share Cascade County-relevant information released by the state,” according to CCHD. “The information provided by the state health officials does not publicly display health data about individual children or staff. It simply provides parents, teachers and the interested public with general data about whether there are positive cases associated with particular schools.”
As of Wednesday, when the state released data, there were 10 students and one staff member who tested positive at Great Falls High School; one student at Whittier Elementary; two staff members at Meadowlark Elementary; two students at East Middle and one student at Paris Gibson Education Center.
CCHD said for their daily updates, the agency will be sharing the number of new positive cases in the count and a brief summary of any new cases associated with GFPS, which will be in a list, with sex and age range for students and the total number of positive adults.