HELENA — Montana reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest daily number since the pandemic began, pushing the state’s total to more than 800 cases.
Despite the resurgence, Gov. Steve Bullock said visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities would be permitted with safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Visits were previously suspended, except for certain compassionate care circumstances.
The new virus cases included 10 in Yellowstone County, seven in Gallatin County and six in Dawson County.
Montana has 210 people currently known to be infected with the virus. Fifteen are hospitalized and 21 have died. Gallatin, Yellowstone, Big Horn and Missoula counties have the most cases.
Bullock has urged residents to remain vigilant and to follow health guidelines such as wearing masks in public. He urged sick people 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 fell to 2,845, a decrease of 9.9% from the 3,157 applications the previous week, the U.S. Employment and Training Administration said, as the state continued its second phase of easing virus restrictions.
Since March 14, the state has processed 117,832 claims for unemployment. That represents 25.8% of the total workforce in the state eligible for the benefits. The state’s unemployment rate was 9% in May.
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.