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2 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Flathead

by Kianna Gardner
Daily Inter Lake | March 20, 2020 3:50 PM

Flathead County now has two positive cases of coronavirus, according to an announcement from the Flathead City-County Health Department late Friday.

One individual is a man in his 30s who is a resident of Flathead County. The other is a man in his 50s who is not a resident. According to the health department, both men “engaged in domestic out-of-state travel.”

According to a press release from Kalispell Regional Healthcare, one of the positives is a health-care worker who had traveled and came back to work at the hospital. Once the hospital became aware of the situation, they “immediately tested two additional individuals and contacted the Flathead City-County Health Department who is now on site.”

The press release further states that because some Kalispell Regional employees were exposed, officials expect there could be other positives.

“We believe this exposure to be limited and localized, however, we intend to use an abundance of caution. We are currently doing all the surveillance, interventions and containment strategies that we have been preparing for weeks,” said Dr. Doug Nelson,Chief Medical Officer for Kalispell Regional Healthcare. “No one wants to hear news of a new virus in their community, however, the community should be reassured that KRH has been working diligently for a long time to prepare for this.”

The health department received notice of the positive cases on Friday from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services where a laboratory is running coronavirus testing.

The Daily Inter Lake was told that as of early Friday afternoon, nearly 80 samples had been submitted for coronavirus testing. The majority of those had come back negative, but the health department was still waiting on results from about one-third of those sent in.

Flathead County has now joined a growing list of counties statewide where residents have tested positive. Other counties include Gallatin, Yellowstone, Missoula, Silver Bow, Broadwater and Roosevelt.

The health department said it will not be providing anymore information on the two positive Flathead County cases at this time. A joint press briefing with Flathead City-County Health

Department and Kalispell Regional Healthcare is set for Saturday morning.