Cascade County adds 459 new COVID cases this week

Cascade County added 459 new COVID-19 caes over the last week, according to the weekly update from the City-County Health Department.

That brings the cumulative cases to 14,036 in Cascade County and 1,115 active cases, though that number isn’t likely accurate as CCHD has prioritized new case investigation over closing out old cases. CCHD said that the state is automatically closing out cases after 14 days.

Of the new cases, 108 were people 19 and younger, according to CCHD.

County adds 570 new COVID cases, five new deaths confirmed

The age breakdown of the new cases over the last week, according to CCHD, is:

  • 0-9: 38
  • 10-19: 70
  • 20-29: 44
  • 30-39: 70
  • 40-49: 64
  • 50-59: 57
  • 60-69: 58
  • 70-79: 40
  • 80-89: 11
  • 90-99: 7
  • 99+: 0

Of the new cases, 82.8 percent were unvaccinated, or not fully vaccinated, and 17.2 percent were vaccinated, according to CCHD.

The new case rate is 80.6 per 100,000, down from last week when it was 100 per 100,000.

University of Providence goes remote due to COVID

The positivity rate is up to 15.4 percent.

Both of those numbers mean the county continues to have a high rate of community transition, according to CCHD.

There were six new COVID-19 related deaths over the last week, bringing the county’s total to 221.

Of those new deaths, all were unvaccinated and had underlying health conditions, according to CCHD.

CCHD opens scheduling for 3rd COVID vaccine dose

The age breakdown was:

  • 1 in 30s
  • 1 in 50s
  • 3 in 60s
  • 1 in 70s

There were 79 new breakthrough cases, bringing the total since February to 784.

A breakthrough case is one in which a fully vaccinated person tests positive for COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means two weeks have elapsed since a person completed the full series of their vaccine, which is two doses for Pfizer and Moderna, and one dose for Johnson and Johnson.

DPHHS report says unvaccinated more likely to be hospitalized, die from COVID

Breakthrough cases are only counted among those who are fully vaccinated.

[NPR: Breakthrough infections might not be a big transmission risk. Here’s the evidence.]

There was one new variant case over the last week, bringing the total to 216 since February.

As of Oct. 11, there were 52 people hospitalized at Benefis Health System with COVID-19. Of those, six were vaccinated. Ten were in the ICU, one of whom was vaccinated, and 10 were on ventilators, one of whom was vaccinated, according to Benefis.

City seeking feedback on ARPA fund application, potential grant process

There were also 108 non-COVID patients hospitalized at Benefis and the hospital said it was at or over capacity again this week. There were nine non-COVID patients in the ICU, leaving two beds available, according to state data.

At Great Falls Clinic, as of Oct. 11, there were 12 non-COVID and eight COVID patients hospitalized, according to state data.

As of Oct. 11, 70,312 doses of the vaccine had been administered and 33,947, or 49 percent of the eligible population, had been fully immunized, according to the state. As of Oct. 8, 54 percent of the eligible population in Cascade County had at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the state, including 35 percent of those aged 12-17.

At the end of the day on Oct. 11, there were 97 active COVID cases associated with the Great Falls Public Schools district, Superintendent Tom Moore told the board during their meeting on Monday. The district’s COVID numbers have been trending down, Moore said.

City continuing discussion on how to use $19.47 million in COVID relief funds

On Oct. 12, Malmstrom Air Force Base lowered the Health Protection Condition to Alpha, based on the base’s public health emergency team recommendation since the rate of community spread has been reduced on base and the percentage of vaccinated people in the base community.

The U.S. Department of Defense mandated vaccines for all military personnel in late August and in early October, issued the same requirement for civilian employees.

With the change, masks are no longer required on base for those who are fully vaccinated, with limited exceptions for the clinic, child development center and youth center, where masks are still required.

“Since we’ve reintroduced mask wear into our routines and begun implementing the DoD-wide vaccine mandate, the data local to our base has improved noticeably and allowed us to change our posture,” Col. Anita Feugate Opperman, 341st Missile Wing commander, said in a release.