Flathead Health Department Reports COVID-19 Death at Long-Term Care Facility

Health officials say the death of the individual relates to an outbreak of cases at the facility

By Tristan Scott
The Flathead City-County Health Department. Beacon File Photo

The Flathead City-County Health Department (FCCHD) on Saturday confirmed the death of an individual residing in a long-term care facility in Flathead County, bringing the total number of local fatalities related to the novel coronavirus outbreak to four.

According to a press release from FCCHD, health officials have identified an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in connection with the long-term care facility, and are working closely with the facility to prevent further transmission of the virus. All cases have been isolated and all close contacts have been notified directly by FCCHD staff, the release states.

On Aug. 21, The FCCHD’s online case tracker reported 40 new local cases and five hospitalizations, bringing the county’s total number of active cases to 94. The county is also tracking 56 non-resident cases.

On Aug. 22, the state Department of Public Health and Human Services reported an additional 20 new Flathead County cases overnight.

The local outbreak prompted health officials to issue a word of caution to community members, some of whom are gathering for this year’s Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo, which runs Aug. 19-23.

“We must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Tamalee St. James Robinson, Interim Health Officer of the Flathead City-County Health Department. “We all have an important role to play in protecting our most vulnerable community members.”

Due to HIPAA regulations, officials stated they will not be releasing the name of the facility or further details at this time.

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