There are now two main ways that COVID-19 is spreading in Ravalli County. The initial way has been people who were infected during travels outside the valley and brought the virus back with them. The first three Positive tests in the county were from such travelers. The two latest cases (reported over the weekend) were people who had not traveled but were exposed to other infected people in the local community. That's called Community Spread and is one of the main reasons we're asked to wear masks in public. The Ravalli County COVID-19 Incident Management Team will now identify new positive cases as whether they are Community Spread or not.

The first two positive cases in Ravalli County have recovered, by the way. The three most recent cases have been isolated and the Public Health Department is notifying people who have been on contact with them that they need to be quarantined. Dr. Carol Calderwood said Monday, "The positive and quarantine cases are throughout the Bitterroot Valley, not just in one community - contrary to rumors. As more cases become known, and they will, we need to be more aware of the individual precautions we can take that do make a difference: Wear masks if you put yourself in a situation where you don't have control over distancing, Use hand sanitizers - everywhere, all the time, especially when you get in and out of your car, and social distancing" indoors and outside. For questions, the Emergency Information Center is 375-6650.