UPDATE: Second KRH Employee Among Two New Cases of Coronavirus Reported in Flathead County

Montana DPHHS announced a woman in her 30s and a man in his 50s both tested positive Monday

By Justin Franz
Kalispell Regional Healthcare braces for the arrival of novel coronavirus as seen on the afternoon of March 18, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Two more people tested positive for coronavirus in Flathead County on Monday, including a second Kalispell Regional Healthcare employee, according to a press release from the hospital.

The two new cases — a woman in her 30s and a man in his 50s — bring the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the county to four and the total number of cases in the state to 45.

The woman who works for KRH traveled out of state from March 12 through March 16. She returned to work on March 17 and reportedly did not have any symptoms. The hospital provided the following timeline for the employee’s subsequent days at work.

Wednesday, March 18: The employee was screened and had minor symptoms including a slight runny nose and occasional cough.

Thursday, March 19: No change in symptoms and she worked a full shift.

Friday, March 20: The employee was not scheduled to work and showed no change in symptoms. KRH’s policy requiring employees traveling outside of Flathead County to self-quarantine at home for 14 days went into effect.

Saturday, March 21: Her symptoms had not worsened or changed. However, the friend the employee stayed with during her out-of-state travel contacted her and explained she had been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case and was experiencing symptoms. The friend suggested the employee may need to be tested for COVID-19, and the employee was tested while at work.

Monday, March 23: The employee’s positive test was reported to KRH by the Flathead City-County Health Department.

The employee is recovering at home in isolation for 14 days.

The new cases come three days after Flathead County reported its first positive COVID-19 tests: A male from Illinois in his 50s who was visiting the area and another Kalispell Regional Healthcare employee, a male in his 30s, who had also recently traveled out of the area.

After the first KRH employee was found to have COVID-19, all employees who were tested last week had negative results, according to the hospital.


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