Malmstrom administering mandatory COVID vaccine, county adds 189 cases since Friday, Jail has more cases

Over the weekend, officials at Malmstrom Air Force Base began administering the Pfizer vaccine to personnel, following the new Defense Department guidance mandating the FDA-approved vaccine.

The Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin issued the mandate on Aug 24, following the FDA’s formal licensure of the Pfizer vaccine on Aug. 23, according to a Malmstrom release.

County COVID cases, positivity rate remain steady, elevated

The DoD mandate requires vaccination for all service members who have not already received the vaccine.

“The health and resilience of our service members is a matter of readiness,” Col. Anita A. Feugate Opperman, 341st Missile Wing commander, said in a release.  “In order to look out for the wellbeing of our airmen and our wing’s mission, our installation will become compliant with this guidance as efficiently as possible.”

GFPS board votes to give superintendent ability to implement mask rules depending on community COVID spread

Cascade County added 140 cases on Aug. 27 and another 49 on Aug. 30, bringing the cumulative total to 10,871, of which 698 are active.

Last week, Trisha Gardner, county health officer, told The Electric that there were a number of clusters related to the new COVID cases that were linked to workplaces, weddings, backyard parties and other events, but there hadn’t been a single major event linked to a high number of cases.

On Aug. 30, Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said COVID was back in the jail. As of Monday, there were about 20 cases among inmates and on Friday, there were four detention officers that had tested positive.

He said that the jail would not lock down and visitation would still be allowed, as well as in-person attorney meetings, but he would be facilitating video court temporarily.

There’s more room in the jail this time around as the state inmates have been moved out, so that they can quarantine and isolate, but the positive cases do limit some movement within the jail and to other facilities, Slaughter said.

GFPS opens Aug. 25, with mask requirement for elementary schoolers

As of Aug. 30, there have been 63,658 doses administered in the county and 31,649 are fully vaccinated, or 46 percent of the eligible population.

County COVID case rate climbing; mayor wants to return to Zoom meetings

As of Aug. 30, Great Falls Public Schools remain in the yellow phase and masks are required for elementary schools and strongly encourages for middle and high schools.

Cascade County’s COVID cases increasing

“In the interest of keeping our community informed of the situation with active COVID-19 cases in our schools, Great Falls Public School officials will attempt to report on a weekly basis beginning Sept. 3, by school, the total active cases confirmed by our nursing staff, in conjunction with the County Health Department,” according to GFPS.