Montana Sees Three New Virus Deaths as Confirmed Cases Rise

Seven residents of Canyon Creek Memory Care in Billings have now died in the span of a week

By Associated Press

HELENA — Montana health officials reported three additional deaths related to the coronavirus over the weekend, bringing the state’s total number to 32.

It comes as the state confirmed 252 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday through Monday, marking one of the state’s highest three-day totals. Test results are reported the day after they’re done.

Canyon Creek Memory Care, an assisted living facility in Billings, reported two more deaths Sunday. A woman in her 90s died at a hospital, while another woman in her 90s died at the care facility.

A total of seven residents of the facility have died in the span of a week after contracting the respiratory virus. Yellowstone County health officials reported Friday that all but four residents of the facility had been infected with the virus.

The other death — a woman in her 70s who was hospitalized — was reported by Big Horn County officials Sunday. She is the fifth person in the county to die of the virus.

Health officials confirmed 84 new cases on Saturday, 83 on Sunday and 85 on Monday, pushing the statewide total to at least 1,843. Twenty-eight people are hospitalized. More than a third of the newly confirmed cases are in Yellowstone County, which includes Billings.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested.

Montana’s rate of infections still trails most of the nation. But the number of cases has risen sharply over the last month as restrictions on commerce and social gatherings eased. Some health agencies have begun adopting measures like mandatory face coverings and limits on the size of gatherings.

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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