County’s COVID numbers stay low

Cascade County added 67 new COVID cases over the last week, bringing the cumulative total to 25,063.

The new case rate is 11.8 per 100,000, continuing the downward trend of the last few weeks, according to the weekly update from the City-County Health Department.

The case rate is the average of daily new cases over a seven day period and is calculated on Wednesdays.

County’s case rate drops significantly

Earlier this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control began using new metric, the COVID-19 community level, to determine masking recommendations and is no longer basing recommendations solely on the case rate.

“Case rate continues to be a good snapshot of the county’s case load, but community level also factors in symptom severity by considering hospital admissions and bed utilization by COVID patients,” according to CCHD.

The community level for Cascade County this week came down to medium, for the first time since the beginning of the year.

There were no new COVID related deaths over the last week, according to CCHD. The total for Cascade County is 319.

The positivity rate this week is 5.4 percent.

There were 30 new breakthrough cases over the last week, bringing the total since February 2021 to 2,831.

A breakthrough case is when a person considered fully vaccinated tests positive for COVID. A person is considered fully vaccinated when the complete the initial series of a vaccine, which is two doses for Pfizer and Moderna and one dose for Johnson and Johnson.

According to state data, there have been 94,321 doses of the COVID vaccines administered in Cascade County and 38,068, or 50 percent of the eligible population are fully immunized.

COVID hospitalizations have also come down significantly, according to the hospitals and state data.

As of March 14, there were three COVID patients hospitalized at Benefis Health System and of those two of those patients were vaccinated, according to the hospital.

There were no COVID patients in the ICU or on ventilators, according to Benefis. There were 157 non-COVID patients hospitalized, according to the hospital.

As of March 14, there were no COVID patients hospitalized at Great Falls Clinic. There were 20 non-COVID patients hospitalized, according to the state’s weekly report.

There were 10 active cases within Great Falls Public Schools as of March 10.