GREAT FALLS, Mont. - As Cascade County is seeing a spike in cases of COVID-19, the Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) says they are limited in what they can do.
On January 13, 2021, the COVID-19 case rate in COVID-19 was reported to be 44 per 100,000; On January 12, 2022, the health department reported an average daily case rate of 72.7 cases per 100,000.
Last year at this time, local restrictions were in place in Cascade County, including business capacity limits and limits on the sizes of group gatherings.
We reached out to the CCHD and asked them if they have any plans to limit the spread of the virus in the community and they said that new legislation is restricting how they can help.
After HB 121 and HB 257 were signed, a designated governing body is required to oversee a health department, with the ability to overrule some decisions by a local health board.
“The new legislation makes it unlikely that public health orders like those issued in 2020 and 2021 would be repeated,” Spencer told Montana Right Now.
For now, Spencer says the health department is working closely with its community partners to ensure everyone has access to the COVID-19 vaccine, testing, treatment and the most up-to-date guidance on preventative measures like masking and social distancing.
If you still need your COVID-19 vaccine, the CCHD is holding an immunization clinic on Friday, Jan. 21 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Holiday Village Mall.
Depending on the turnout to the clinic, Spencer says the health department will consider a recurring monthly clinic.