Board of Health schedules next special meeting to discuss potential COVID-19 restrictions

The Cascade County City-County Board of Health has scheduled another special meeting to discuss possible additional restrictions related to COVID-19.

The board is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Oct. 28 via Zoom.

According to the county, “the Board of Health will not conduct a question and answer session. Prior to voting on any motion the Board of Health may make, the public will have an opportunity to provide comment.”

County Board of Health delays making decision on additional COVID-19 restrictions

The board met on Oct. 20 for more than two hours to discuss the possible implementation of additional restrictions in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community, but not make any decisions during that meeting.

Statewide, another 863 cases were added Friday, brining the state total to 26,503 with 9,610 active cases, according to the state map.

In Cascade County, 61 cases were added Oct. 23, bringing the county total to 1,688 with 859 active cases.

As of Oct. 22, there were 31 active cases associated with Great Falls Public Schools.

Superintendent Tom Moore said during the Oct. 20 health board meeting that there were more than 400 people within the district quarantined.

County health board meets Tuesday to discuss stricter rules; hospitals feeling strain from COVID-19; County officials asking community to help curb spread

There have been 13 COVID-19 related deaths in the county, according to the Cascade County City-County Health Department.

According to state data from Oct. 22, Benefis Health System has 55 COVID patients, 175 non-COVID patients and 10 available beds. Of the COVID patients, 19 are in the ICI and 18 are on ventilators, leaving one available ICU bed and 8 ventilators available.

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The Great Falls Clinic has four COVID beds available and all of them are full.

On Oct. 22 Gov. Steve Bullock said that the state has launched a website on the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services where citizens can report potential violations of COVID-19 directives or other public health and safety regulations.

Cascade County officials considering stricter COVID-19 regulations, Board of Health set to meet next week

Those complaints will be reviewed by DPHHS staff and referred to the appropriate local authorities for review and investigation, Bullock said. The information will also be added to existing database that’s used to track other consumer health and safety complaints, he said.

Trisha Gardner, Cascade County health officer, said last week that CCHD had received more than 200 complaints and issued three orders of correction. CCHD has not ordered closure of any businesses, she said, though many have closed temporarily when staff members have tested positive or there have been potential exposures.

Bullock said that following complaints and an increase in Flathead County, state public health officials visited businesses there and will be bringing enforcement actions against those that had continued complaints.