HELENA — Montana announced five more deaths due to COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths due to the respiratory virus in the state to 52.
Twenty-nine of the deaths have happened over the past three weeks, including 15 attributed to an outbreak at a memory care center in Billings.
County health departments said three people died Sunday — a Yellowstone County man in his 40s, a Lincoln County man in his 80s and a Custer County resident over the age of 65.
Another Custer County resident over age 65 died Monday, KULR-TV reported. The deaths were the first two for Custer County.
A Gallatin County man in his 50s died on July 7 due to complications from COVID-19 and “significant underlying health conditions,” the county health department said Tuesday.
The state also reported 94 more new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, for a total of 3,475 since the pandemic began. The number of infections is thought to be much higher because many people have not been tested.
Just over 2,100 people in Montana are considered to have recovered from the virus)while just over 1,300 are known to still be infected. The state’s mask mandate was in effect for 25 of the state’s 56 counties on Monday. Yellowstone County has the most current infections, with nearly 500.
Sixty-two people are hospitalized.
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.
In other Montana coronavirus developments:
— The CEO of Community Medical Center in Missoula tested positive for COVID-19. Dr. Dean French sent an email to employees last Thursday saying he had tested positive a day earlier, the Missoulian reported. French said he had “manageable symptoms” and planned to work from home. He said his contact tracing didn’t turn up any more cases.