Health Department says 218 New COVID Cases over the Weekend
COVID 19 cases continue to rise along with hospitalizations in Missoula County, according to Missoula City County Health Department Incident Commander Cindy Farr.
“We had 114 cases come in since Monday, and over the weekend we had 134 new cases reported on Saturday and 84 new cases reported on Sunday,” said Farr. “We have 52 people hospitalized in Missoula County for COVID symptoms. 34 of those are Missoula county residents and 18 are people that live outside of our county that have been hospitalized here.”
Farr said she was encouraged with the steady stream of people coming in to be vaccinated.
“We are definitely seeing people still coming in to get vaccinated which is great,” she said. “We love to get as many people in and get them vaccinated as possible. We're seeing people coming in at a pretty steady rate right now but a lot of what we're seeing is people coming in for those booster doses, however we're still seeing a couple 100 people a week coming in for first doses.”
Farr said the percentage of Missoula County residents 12 and older getting vaccinated is encouraging.
“It does encourage me right now that we've gone up to 70.65% of our eligible population who have received one dose of vaccine, which is great,” she said. “The only problem is because we can't get kids vaccinated, that only actually gets us to about 57% of our total population that is fully vaccinated for COVID.”
Farr said Montana is handicapped by not having more tools to combat the virus.
“Most other places in the country are able to actually mitigate for COVID, so employers can mandate vaccines or the health department or a board of health or local politicians can put mitigation practices into place like reducing event sizes, mandating social distancing, and masking mandates,” she said. “We don't have the ability to do that here in Montana, so because of that, we're likely going to continue to see these case numbers go up for some time to come.”
Farr said there is anecdotal evidence that large events such as Grizzly football games or other activities are contributing to the increase in cases. She encourages residents to get vaccinated, wear masks indoors, wash hands often and socially distance whenever possible.