County adds 642 new COVID cases; case rate is 112.7 per 100,000
Cascade County added 642 new COVID-19 cases over the last week, according to the weekly update from the City-County Health Department.
That brings the cumulative today to 15,178 cases.
The new case rate, or average of new cases per day over the last week, is 112.7 per 100,000.
The peak of local cases was November 2020 and the case rate was 227 per 100,000, though it was partly that high due to a reporting backlog.
That came down to 98 per 100,000 on Dec. 1, 2020.
This week’s positivity rate is 15.9 percent.
There were three new COVID-19 related deaths over the last week.
CCHD and the state dashboard are showing 1,260 active cases, but CCHD has stated regularly that the number isn’t necessarily accurate because they’re prioritizing new case investigations over closing out old cases. The state is automatically closing out cases after two weeks.
There were 96 new breakthrough cases over the last week, bringing the total since February to 946.
Breakthrough cases are those in which a fully vaccinated person tests positive for COVID. Being fully vaccinated means two weeks have elapsed since a person got the full series of the vaccine, which is two doses for Pfizer and Moderna and one for Johnson and Johnson.
Breakthrough cases do not include those who are partially vaccinated.
As of Oct. 25, there have been 73,158 doses of the vaccine given in the county. There are 34,454, or 50 percent of the eligible population, who are fully vaccinated, according to the state.
Fifty-five percent of the eligible population have at least one dose in the county, according to the state as of Oct. 22.
Of those 12-17 years old, 36 percent have at least one dose, according to the state.
Benefis Health System had 38 COVID and 122 non-COVID patients hospitalized, as of Oct. 25, according to the state. Of those COVID patients, seven were vaccinated.
Of the hospitalized COVID patients, seven were in the ICU and five were on ventilators. All were unvaccinated, according to Benefis.
At Great Falls Clinic, there were three COVID and 19 non-COVID patients hospitalized as of Oct. 25, according to the state.
As of Oct. 22, there were 88 active COVID cases within Great Falls Public Schools. The district updates their numbers on the district website on Fridays. During the Oct. 25 school board meeting, Superintendent Tom Moore said that number had come down to 69 cases.
More than 95 percent of the 1.4 million active duty service members have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, according to the Defense Department.
The total percentage of active duty service members fully vaccinated was 83.7 percent, while an additional 13 percent have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Oct. 13.
“COVID trends are moving in the right direction. At least in part due to our vaccination efforts, there are fewer infections, hospitalizations are down, and lives are being saved,” according to Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency.
Within the Air Force, 94.6 percent of active duty are fully vaccinated and 88.9 percent of the total Air Force, including active duty, Air National Guard and Reserve members.
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.