GREAT FALLS — The Toole County Health Department in Shelby said on Monday morning that it has confirmed two deaths of Toole County residents due to COVID-19.
Blair Tomsheck, a nurse with the TCHD, did not release any identifying information about the two patients.
Tomsheck said in a Facebook Live video that they are coordinating with neighboring counties on responding to COVID-19, and reiterated the steps that people should continue to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as social-distancing, frequent and thorough hand-washing.
The family of Bev Rogers told MTN NewsV that she is one of the patients who passed away.
"We’d like to say is she absolutely loved her family immensely and always had a sense of humor even right up to the end," Cheri Rogers Robertson said. "Another thing is to the public, don’t let this virus become so real to your families before you take it seriously. Follow the social distancing. We weren’t and still aren’t able to get together at a time when that’s the only thing we want to do."
As of Monday morning, the DPHHS website says that six cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Toole County: female between the ages of 10 and 19; male between 40 and 49; female between 60 and 69; a male and one female between 70 and 79; and one female between 80 and 89.
These two deaths bring the confirmed state total to four. The first death was 77-year old Lincoln County resident Jim Tomlin, whose death was reported Friday.
On Sunday afternoon, public health officials confirmed the death of a Madison County resident who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Gov Steve Bullock released a statement regarding the most recent deaths:
“Losing two more Montanans to COVID-19 is a blow to our statewide community. Today’s news is a heartbreaking reminder to us all that we must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread of this disease. Montanans in every corner of our state are keeping the family and friends of these Montanans in our hearts.”
"Notification of the deaths was provided by the Toole County Health Department today," the statement continued. "Governor Bullock’s administration is aware of the concerns regarding impacts to the senior community in the county and has been working to deploy additional resources to the health care system."