Four new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Big Sky Friday
Gallatin County records 6 new cases
GALLATIN CITY-COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
As of Friday, June 19, 2020, at 12 p.m. Gallatin County has six new confirmed cases of COVID-19, for a cumulative total of 202. There are 16 confirmed active cases. There have been a total of 185 people recovered in Gallatin County. One person has died from COVID-19 complications.
The new cases are located in Big Sky and the Gallatin Valley, and are contacts to known cases. More data can be found on Gallatin City-County Health Department’s dashboard on our website here. This dashboard will be updated by 12 p.m. daily. Information on statewide cases continue to be found here.
Please note that local data on active cases may differ from the state map as the state map is only updated once daily and calculates active cases differently.
Over the past three days, medical testing and COVID-19 case investigations in Big Sky have resulted in five laboratory-confirmed cases of the disease in individuals who live in Big Sky, including four cases announced Friday. Additionally, sewage samples gathered Wednesday, June 16 at the Big Sky wastewater treatment facility indicated the likely presence of the virus within wastewater flowing into the facility.
Public health nurses with Gallatin City-County Health Department (GCCHD) continue to work with confirmed cases to isolate and support individuals who have tested positive and to place in quarantine individuals who were in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with known cases.
GCCHD staff will also refer individuals for testing if necessary. These measures are standard contact investigation procedures designed to identify cases and limit spread of the disease by separating those who are sick from others in the community.
As we have in the past, the health department advises anyone in Big Sky or anywhere in Gallatin County with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, headache, new loss of taste or smell, body aches) to contact their health care provider and seek testing.
In Big Sky, GCCHD staff will be proactively contacting individuals identified as likely close contacts of known cases and providing advice on testing and possible quarantine. But other individuals in Big Sky who are concerned about coming into contact with a known case or who have frequented large gatherings (parties, crowded bars and restaurants, or other events with limited social distancing) may seek testing at Big Sky Medical Center, contacting a primary care provider office, visiting a Viral Triage Clinic, or by calling the Bozeman Health COVID-19 Hotline.
Big Sky Medical Center’s Viral Triage Clinic and Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For questions or more information, call Big Sky Medical Center at (406) 995-6995. Access the Bozeman Health COVID-19 Hotline by calling (406) 414-2619. Hotline hours are weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Health department officials said the highest priority for testing should be individuals who have symptoms of the disease. While testing of asymptomatic individuals is available in some settings, those considering testing should be aware that testing can only tell us if an individual tests positive for the disease at the moment their specimen is gathered. A negative test result does not mean you won’t develop the disease later and it does not provide protection from future exposures.
It is also important to know that testing for people with no symptoms is not an urgent matter requiring immediate access or results.
“Those who are concerned may want testing and that understandable,” said Matt Kelley, Health Officer with GCCHD. “But even if we get a positive result, there is no recommended medication or urgent medical treatment for people with no symptoms or mild symptoms. We will advise you to stay home and stay away from others, rest, eat well, and contact your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.”
Kelley said the health department continues to advise everyone in Gallatin County to continue to do the following to prevent disease spread:
● Avoid large gatherings of people such as parties or crowded bars and restaurants;
● Stay home and contact a health care provider if you are sick;
● Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly;
● Wear a clean face covering in settings where social distancing is difficult, such as retail stores and other public indoor spaces.
Wastewater testing indicates that we do have some level of disease present in the county. The wastewater sampling does not currently help us know how many people may be carrying the virus, but it does establish an important baseline from which to measure results later this summer and fall.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department Call Center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions about COVID-19. Call (406) 548-0123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach the Call Center.