Cascade County adds 450 new cases, hospitals remain full

Cascade County added 450 new COVID-19 cases over the last week, bringing the cumulative total to 13,010, according to the weekly update from the City-County Health Department.

Of the new cases, 103 were in people 19 and younger, according to CCHD.

Here’s this week’s age breakdown of new cases from CCHD:

Age New Cases (9/23 to 9/29) % of Total New Cases % Fully Vaccinated (of total population in County)
0 to 9 43 9.6% 0.0%
10 to 19 60 13.3% 24.9%
20 to 29 64 14.2% 23.7%
30 to 39 78 17.3% 37.4%
40 to 49 66 14.7% 53.8%
50 to 59 52 11.6% 53.8%
60 to 69 40 8.9% 73.6%
70 to 79 27 6.0% 80.3%
80+ 20 4.4% 72.9%

Currently, the state lists 1,307 active cases, but CCHD has said that the active case number can be misleading since “when we lack staffing to deal with the case numbers (like right now), we focus on opening new cases and contacting people with new infections. That takes priority over closing older cases, so the older cases will remain open as ‘active’ cases. The new case rates are a much more informative number of what’s happening. And the state is currently automatically closing our open case investigations of more than 10 days, regardless of info or circumstances.”

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This week’s case rate is 79 per 100,000. The case rate is the average of daily new cases over the last seven days and is calculated on Wednesdays.

This week’s rate is down from 100.4 per 100,000 last week.

Of the new cases this week, 20.4 percent are fully vaccinated and 79.6 percent are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, according to CCHD.

GFPS requiring masks for all students, staff due to high COVID rates

The positivity rate is 14.3 percent, up from last week’s 12.7 percent.

There were 92 new breakthrough cases over the last week, bringing that total to 594 since February, according to CCHD.

There were eight new variant cases, bringing that total to 212 since February.

County COVID case rate up this week with 506 new cases

Breakthrough cases are those who test positive for COVID after being fully vaccinated, which is defined as two weeks having elapsed since the final dose of the vaccine. Pfizer and Moderna are two doses and Johnson and Johnson is one dose. According to CCHD, there have been breakthrough cases with all three types of vaccines.

There were six new COVID-19 related deaths in the last week, bringing that total to 210 among Cascade County residents.

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Of the 10 deaths over the last 14 days, nine had underlying health conditions and nine were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, according to CCHD.

One of the deaths was a person under the age of 30, according to CCHD.

The rest were, according to CCHD:

  • 1 age 40-49
  • 2  age 60-69
  • 3 age 70-79
  • 2 age 80-89
  • 1 age 90+

In a Sept. 29 Facebook post, Gov. Greg Gianforte said, “Today our state marks a solemn, tragic milestone with 2,000 Montanans dying as a result of COVID-19. I join all Montanans whose hearts go out to the family, neighbors, and friends of those we have lost to the virus.

Vaccination remains the best solution to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the virus, and we continue to make progress with the millionth dose of vaccine administered yesterday. While we will not mandate vaccines in Montana, they are safe, they work, and they save lives.

I continue to encourage all Montanans to speak to their trusted, personal health care provider, like their doctor or pharmacist, this week and get vaccinated.”

This week’s state hospitalization report shows 124 non-COVID and 36 COVID patients at Benefis Health System as of Sept. 27. There were eight non-COVID and seven COVID patients in the ICU. There were eight non-COVID and seven COVID patients on ventilators.

At Great Falls Clinic, there were 13 non-COVID and five COVID patients as of Sept. 27.

As of Sept. 24, there were 153 confirmed COVID cases among Great Falls Public Schools students and staff, according to the district. Due to the high community transmission rate, last week GFPS implemented a mask requirement for all schools.

As of Sept. 24, according to the state, 34 percent of people 12-17 years old in Cascade County had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Across Cascade County, there have been 67,764 doses of the vaccine administered and 33,442 or 49 percent of the eligible population, are fully immunized, according to the state.

CCHD is hosting a drive-through flu shot clinic on Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Montana Expo Park. Participants are asked to enter from the 3rd Street Northwest gate. The clinic is open to those 18 and older. CCHD cannot accept Humana or BCBS Medicare Advantage insurances.

The Department of Defense mandated vaccines and in late August, Malmstrom Air Force began the process of administering the vaccine to those who had not yet received it.

As of Sept. 27, the Air Force said that 75.1 percent of active duty airmen were fully vaccinated and 18.8 percent were partially vaccinated.