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Wed Oct 7, 2020, 03:56 AM

Health Department Says Flathead County at 'Critical Point in Fight Against COVID-19'

Rising numbers of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 have put Flathead County at a “critical point” in its efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the county’s health officer said, while stopping short of implementing any new countermeasures to reverse that trend.

Since Sept. 12, more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 have been discovered in Flathead County at a rate of nearly 44 per day, an alarming acceleration from the first six months of the outbreak. The county’s death toll has also climbed steadily in recent weeks, with two more deaths reported Monday to bring the county’s total to 21. Thirteen of those deaths have come since the start of September. And the number of people hospitalized has been on the rise, too, with as many as 19 people reportedly under hospital care at times in the last week, the highest levels seen so far. The county’s own Community Indicators show Flathead is at a critical level in four of seven monitored areas, including case investigations, contact monitoring, community concern and hospitalizations.

All of those numbers prompted Tamalee St. James Robinson, the county’s interim health officer, to issue a strongly worded statement Monday, pleading with residents to heed the safety measures widely recommended by health experts, including wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and avoiding any large gatherings, and warning that ignoring those recommendations could lead her to take action.

“Flathead County has reached a critical point in the fight against COVID-19,” St. James Robison wrote. “We are seeing a surge of new cases and these are putting a strain on our healthcare system as well as our public investigation team. If we as a community do not step up to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 additional control measures will need to be implemented.”

Read more: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2020/10/06/health-department-says-flathead-county-critical-point-fight-covid-19/

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