The Missoula City County Health Department issued a press release on Friday stating that a new daily record was set for positive COVID cases.

“Unfortunately, we're setting records and not in a good way,” said Farr. “Today we had our highest number of cases that we've had so far during the pandemic. That’s 178 new cases today and the highest incidence rate that we've seen so far at 96 cases per 100,000 people, and in addition we're one hospitalization short of having the patient record of 57 people in the hospital, so we’re definitely seeing our numbers up there today.”

Farr said she was at a loss in reporting the ever increasing numbers of COVID cases.

“We've just been seeing more and more cases of COVID in our community,” she said. “I know I sound like a broken record but we don't have a lot that we can do to mitigate (the pandemic) at this point. So, it's really up to every individual to do the right thing and stay home and get tested if you're sick. Keep your social circles small, try to socially distance as much as you can and wear a mask whether you're vaccinated or not whenever you're out in public places.”

In addition, Farr said the health department is attempting to streamline the process of contact tracing.

“We’re changing the way that we're reaching out to people,” she said. “We have found that it's really hard to get people on the phone so that we can do our case investigation with new cases, especially when we're seeing these kinds of numbers coming in at over 100 every single day. So what we're going to be doing is texting. We're going to start texting people to let them know that we've got your lab results and we know that you're a positive case and here's the link that you can go to in order to fill out the information that we need and to give us your close contacts.”

Going back to basics, with so many new cases every day, there are ever increasing numbers of close contacts. She repeated the routine that all close contacts must follow by law.

“Anyone who tests positive for COVID is still required to isolate until they're released from isolation by our staff at the health department,” she said. “People that are identified as close contacts will be notified that they are close contacts, and they'll be required to quarantine. That quarantine can last for as short as seven days or up to 14 days depending on the situation. For most people, once they are identified as a close contact, we can get them in for testing at around day five of their quarantine and if they test negative then they get released from quarantine on day seven.”

This reporter is waiting expectantly to hear if he has tested positive for COVID. KGVO will keep you informed about the results.


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