Two Missoula County residents tested positive for COVID-19, the Montana Governor’s office announced Saturday, only a day after the first four cases were confirmed in Montana.
Montana was one of the last states to confirm cases of the virus. It announced cases in Yellowstone, Broadwater, Gallatin and Silverbow counties Friday, March 13. The Missoula City-County Health Department is encouraging people not to take drastic measures like stockpiling food and medical supplies because this could put others at risk and limit critical resources within the community.
The Montana Public Health Laboratory and the CDC are testing people who have symptoms of COVID-19 and have recently traveled to an area where the virus is known to have spread. They are also testing individuals who have been in close contact with people who have tested positive for the virus. The MPHL and CDC have tested 166 Montanana residents, and as of March 14, only six test results have come back positive.
The state lab plans to perform testing seven days a week, and the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force will set up a State Emergency Coordination Center for COVID-19 response efforts at Fort Harrison starting March 16, according to a press release from the Governor’s office released Saturday morning.
UM President Seth Bodnar also addressed how the University is continuing to safeguard the campus community against the spread of the virus in a Facebook video Friday afternoon. The Montana University System announced that all university and college campuses will move classes online after spring break, starting March 23.
At UM, campus will remain open and people will have access to many resources, including UM Dining, the library and computer labs. The University has not announced how long classes will be taught online.
The Montana Kaimin website will be updated with more information as this situation develops.