Flathead County COVID-19 response shifts online

KALISPELL, Mont. - As COVID-19 cases rise after weeks of decline in Flathead County, the Flathead City-County Health Department is changing its response in order to keep up. 

Beginning January 10, people will receive their COVID-19 test results via text message. 

In that text, there'll be a secure online survey for completing case details and quarantine directions. Phone calls will still be available as an option for case details. 

The health department will continue to contact high-risk close contacts by phone to give direction.

While the end results gets information out faster, it also relieves a very familiar issue... staffing.

"The caseload in our county is quickly outpacing our current staff capacity, and this shift will help us get information out to cases and contacts in a more efficient manner," Joe Russell, Flathead City-County Health Department Health Officer said in a press release. 

As of January 7, the Flathead City-County Health Department reported 588 active cases. 

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