Flathead County Health Officials Report Community Spread of COVID-19

Officials urge residents to take precautions in public, stay home if sick to mitigate future spread

By Andy Viano
The Montana National Guard began screening arriving passengers for symptoms of COVID-19 at Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell on April 3, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Five cases of coronavirus positively identified in Flathead County this week cannot be traced back to another known positive or recent travel and have therefore been identified as evidence of community spread, according to the Flathead City-County Health Department.

Four positive infections in Flathead County were reported by state officials on Thursday morning, the second-most cases identified here in a single day since the outbreak began, and the county currently has eight active cases. The first of those infections was reported on June 13, breaking a more than two-month stretch without a case of COVID-19 in the Flathead. Health officials say all close contacts of the eight known cases have been identified.

In response to the apparent community transmission and to mitigate future spread, officials are urging people to practice safe social distancing, wash their hands frequently, wear a mask or other face covering in public, and stay home if they feel sick.

“We all have an important role to play,” Health Officer Hillary Hanson said. “We must work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of our community.”

There are currently 100 active cases of coronavirus in the state of Montana.

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