Gianforte ends COVID state of emergency; 77 active cases in cascade County

Gov. Greg Gianforte ended the state of emergency in Montana on June 30.

He declared the emergency in January to address COVID-19, which continued the state of emergency former Gov. Steve Bullock declared last year.

“Months ago, the light at the end of the tunnel was distant and dim. As we’ve worked together to overcome this pandemic, the light has grown bigger and brighter. Today, we are out of the tunnel, and we are surrounded in light. Today, the conditions we face are nothing like what we faced 15 months ago, 12 months ago, or six months ago,” Gianforte said in a release. “Today, the conditions we face no longer warrant a state of emergency.”

In making the announcement, the governor cited the decline in new cases and hospitalizations in the last six months as well as Montana’s progress in administering vaccines. To date, Montanans have administered over 860,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 425,000 Montanans fully immunized, according to release from Gianforte’s office.

Encouraging Montanans to choose to get the vaccine, the governor added, “The vaccines are safe, effective, free, and easy to get. They continue to be our best path forward.”

As of June 28, there have been 57,549 doses of the vaccine administered in the county and 28,734 people, or 42 percent of the 68,949 eligible people in Cascade County, according to the state map.

According to the Cascade County City-County Health Department, the county added 56 new cases over the last week, bringing to cumulative total to 9,516 cases with 77 active as of June 30.

The positivity rate over the last week was 4.9 percent and the case rate dropped slightly to 10 per 100,000 from three consecutive weeks at 11 per 100,000.

There has been one more breakthrough case over the last week, bringing the total to 24, according to CCHD. Breakthrough cases are those in which a person considered fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks have elapsed since their final dose of the vaccine, contracts COVID-19.

Nine additional variant cases were confirmed over the last week and the total is 57, according to CCHD.

According to CCHD, the Delta variant has not yet been confirmed in Cascade County. There was another COVID-19 related death over the last week, but has not yet been included in the state’s numbers, so it’s not yet reflected in the county’s weekly report, according to CCHD.

The following variants are confirmed in the county: B.1.1.7, B.1.526, B.1.526.1, B.1.429, B.1.427, and P.1. and most are variants of concern, other than the B.1.526 and B.1.526.1, which are categorized as a variant of interest, by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.