KALISPELL, Mont. – The Flathead City-County Health Department says the county has seen a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths.
"Flathead County has reached a critical point in the fight against COVID-19," says Tamalee St James Robinson, Interim Health Officer of the Flathead City-County Health Department. "We are seeing a surge of new cases and these are putting a strain on our healthcare system as well as our public health investigation team. If we as a community do not step up to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 additional control measures will need to be implemented."
Over the past two weeks, 722 new lab confirmed cases in Flathead County were reported. Two additional COVID-19 related deaths of Flathead County residents were confirmed over the past weekend, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 21. The health department says the COVID-19 Capacity Indicators show that Flathead County is functioning at critical levels in four of the seven categories, including case investigation capacity, community concern, and hospitalizations.
The health department says lab confirmed cases continue to increase in Flathead County schools. During the contact tracing investigations of these cases, FCCHD determined most student transmission occurred outside of school activities such as cast parties, slumber parties, and birthday parties.
"Parents, please be mindful of how you are allowing your children to spend their down time," says Robinson. "Everyone needs to take small mitigation steps to help keep our schools open.
"We want our businesses and schools to remain open. We have to see a change in the direction COVID-19 is heading in our community. It is up to us all of us to stop the spread."
Information about the current COVID-19 capacity in Flathead County can be found on the Flathead County Community Indicators web page at https://maps.flathead.mt.gov/portal/apps/sites/#/applications/pages/flathead-county-covid-19-community-indicators