UPDATE: As of Sunday (March 22), 4:25 p.m. we can confirm there are two new cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Gallatin County, for a total of 10 confirmed cases.

At this point the details we are aware of and able to release are as follows:

Female
a. Age: 50s
b. Exposure: Outside of Montana
c. Test collection date: March 20, 2020
d. Test results date: March 22, 2020
e. Location: Currently isolated
f. Condition: good

Female
a. Age: 70s
b. Exposure: Outside of Montana
c. Test collection date: March 21, 2020
d. Test results date: March 22, 2020
e. Location: Currently isolated
f. Condition: good
No further results are expected tonight.

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Four new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Saturday in Gallatin County. On Sunday, the Gallatin-City County Health Department (GCCHD) issued a press release, stressing that now more than ever, we need to collectively continue to take actions to slow down the spread of this disease.

With the latest four confirmed cases here locally of COVID-19, the county’s total is now at eight cases. Unlike the previous cases reported in the county, the health department says these four patients have had no known travel history, exposure to someone who traveled, or exposure to known COVID-19 cases.

The GCCHD says these new cases indicate there is evidence of community transmission in Gallatin County. Community transmission means the spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown or cannot be directly traced back to a known exposure.

The county's communicable disease team has been in touch with all of these cases and are currently conducting contact investigations to minimize additional transmission. All patients have had mild symptoms and have been isolated. And those who had close contacts with the patients have been quarantined. “We understand that this may be concerning to hear and we anticipated this day would come,” said Matt Kelley, Health Officer for GCCHD, “We stress again that now is the time to take strong action, and this underlines the importance of the restrictions and closures GCCHD and the governor have put into place to limit the spread of this disease.”

Gallatin County residents are being asked to:

  • limit contact with groups of people, whether you’re sick or not and maintain social distancing when in public as much as possible.
  • stay home whenever possible, except for your essential needs. Self-isolate when you are sick, even with mild symptoms.
  • frequently wash your hands with soap and water and regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • work from home if possible.
  • self-quarantine for 14 days if you’ve recently returned home from international travel.

“Remember, one of our primary goals is to flatten the curve and limit the number of new cases so as not to overwhelm medical resources,” Kelley said. "Everyone should be assured that public and private agencies are working hard to provide a high-level response to this pandemic. We need the community and individuals to continue to take personal responsibility."

Public health officials have launched a seven-day-a-week hotline for questions about COVID-19. It can be reached at 406-548-0123. The most accurate local source of information remains the GCCHD website.