HELENA — Montana reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest daily number of new cases since the pandemic began, pushing the state’s case total to more than 800, state officials said.
The previous peak was 35 cases on March 26. The new cases from 3,266 tests included 10 in Yellowstone County, seven in Gallatin County and six in Dawson County. The state’s total known number of positive cases is 803.
Montana has 210 people currently known to be infected with the respiratory virus, 15 people are hospitalized and 21 have died. The largest numbers of known infected people are in Gallatin, Yellowstone, Big Horn and Missoula counties.
As case numbers increase, Gov. Steve Bullock on Wednesday urged residents to remain vigilant and to follow health guidelines such as wearing masks in public places and for people who are stick to stay home.
“If we don’t do things right in Montana, the virus can get out of hand,” Bullock said.
Applications for unemployment benefits in Montana declined during the week ending on June 20, the U.S. Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.
The number of new applications submitted in Montana during the week ending on June 20 fell to 2,845, a decrease of 9.9% from the 3,157 applications submitted the previous week as the state continues its second phase of easing restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Since March 14, the state has processed 117,832 claims for unemployment. That represents 25.8% of the total workforce of Montana that is eligible for the unemployment insurance program. The state’s unemployment rate was 9% in May.
Bullock said he planned to lift some restrictions on visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities on Thursday, but said safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus would still be in place. Visits to nursing homes had been suspended, except for certain compassionate care circumstances.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
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