HELENA, Mont. - A COVID-19 briefing was held Thursday, Oct. 7 from professionals at the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Department of Military Affairs and the governor’s office.
A readout from the briefing says cases of COVID-19 in Montana have increased by 1% from the week before, and related hospitalizations were up 9%.
COVID-19 related deaths were down 43% from the number reported the week before with 49 related deaths reported, compared to 86 reported in the Sept. 24 weekly report.
Deaths reported last week, however, happened between November 2020 and September 2021, and a majority of these deaths (43) occurred in August and September 2021 according to Montana Department of Public Health Public Information Officer Jon Ebelt.
“DPHHS continues to conduct data reconciliation, and we thought it was important to note that not all 49 deaths were recent,” Ebelt said. “Most of them were, but some are part of data reconciliation and newly reported.”
Vaccine doses given in the state are up more than 42% from previous weeks, with 16,554 doses administered the week ending Oct. 1.
Data for the most recent week is expected to be an underestimate of the doses administered during the week, due to a reporting lag the readout says.
Unvaccinated Montanans accounted for 86% of hospitalizations and 79% of deaths from April 1 to Oct. 1.
The median age of unvaccinated people who died over the same period was 71-years-old, and the median age of vaccinated people who died as a result of a breakthrough case was 83 the release says.
Over the same period, the youngest unvaccinated person who died from COVID-19 was 24, and the youngest vaccinated person who died from COVID-19 as a result of a breakthrough case was 53.
In regards to testing, in September, an average of 47,000 tests for COVID-19 has been conducted weekly, compared to an average of 36,000 weekly tests in November of 2020.
In September and October, 99.9% of specimens collected in Montana and sequenced have been the Delta variant.
The state has received over 1,600 doses of monoclonal antibody treatment this week.
As of Friday, 148 National Guardsmen have been supporting 12 facilities, and all eligible requests for National Guard resources have been fulfilled.