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Sanders County records first three COVID-19 cases

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
Hagadone News Network | July 14, 2020 10:54 AM

Last week’s first apparent COVID-19 case in Sanders County turned out to be a false positive, but a trio of cases this week are the real thing.

According to information from the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force, three county residents tested positive Monday, July 13.

One case was a woman in her 40s while the others included a man and a woman in their 70s. There was a testing event in Hot Springs Thursday, June 9, where 258 people gave samples at the Rodeo Grounds, but it’s not known if the positive samples originated there.

“We’ve heard rumors about where the cases came from, but right now, that’s all they are — rumors,” District 3 Commissioner Tony Cox said. “Public health staff have initiated contact tracing activities.”

Cox said “everyone needs to be careful.”

He also reported the county Board of Health is holding a special meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday in the commissioner’s conference room.

Monday’s three confirmed cases in the county were the first. Montana, similar to many other states across the country, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases during the last two or three weeks.

State figures show the total number of tests are 121,396 with 1,952 cases and 34 deaths.

Neighboring counties, such as Lake, Missoula, Lincoln and Flathead, have had quick rises in positive cases.

Monday, Lake had 27 positives while Flathead had nine, Lincoln recorded seven and Missoula had one.

In Northwest Montana, Missoula County has the most with 125. Flathead is second with 84, Lake has 80 and Lincoln has 40. Mineral County still hasn’t recorded a case.

Across Montana, Yellowstone County is first with 557 cases while Gallatin is second with 417. Missoula ranks third in the state.

County officials are still asking residents to follow these measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus:

— Social distance. Maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and others. If you are in a situation where you cannot do so, please wear a non-medical/non-surgical mask. (Social distancing is a strategy to lower the pace and spread of COVID-19 and reduce the acute impact on our health-care system).

— Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

— Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Do this each time you use the restroom, and before you eat. Use of hand sanitizers is encouraged during times when soap and running water for hand washing isn’t available.

However, it’s been advised not to use products manufactured by the company Eskbiochem.

For more information, go to:

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-advises-consumers-not-use-hand-sanitizer-products-manufactured-eskbiochem

— Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

— Cover your cough and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue.

— Avoid contact with sick people when possible.

— Stay home if you’re sick. If you are having symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your health-care provider.

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