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Richland County reports two new COVID-19 cases

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Posted at 1:30 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 16:23:47-04

The Richland County Health Department announced Wednesday it has two new COVID-19 cases.

According to a post on Facebook, the agency said it was notified of the new cases Tuesday evening by the Montana State Public Health Laboratory.

The two cases involve a woman in her 40s who is not hospitalized and a man in his 40s who was being evaluated for possible hospitalization.

Richland County previously had a total of three cases, which are all now recovered.

"The Richland County Health Department will be working with these individuals to identify close contacts," the agency said in the post. "Anyone who is a direct contact will receive a phone call from the Richland County Health Department with instruction on how to proceed."

Earlier on Wednesday, state health officials reported the Montana had 18 new cases over the previous 24-hour reporting period. The two new Richland County cases were not included in that report.

Here is the full statement from the Richland County Health Department:

COVID-19 UPDATE: On the evening of June 16, 2020, the Richland County Health Department was notified by the Montana State Public Health Laboratory of two active cases of COVID-19 in individuals residing in Richland County. This brings the total case count to five, three of which are recovered. Current active cases are as follows:

Case 4: A female in her 40’s who is not hospitalized. The individual is isolating at home and the case investigation is ongoing. Contact tracing has begun.

Case 5: A male in his 40’s who is being evaluated for possible hospitalization. The case investigation is ongoing. Contact tracing has begun.

In accordance with Federal law, the Department will not release any other identifying information about the case to protect the individual’s personal privacy.

The Richland County Health Department will be working with these individuals to identify close contacts. Anyone who is a direct contact will receive a phone call from the Richland County Health Department with instruction on how to proceed.

Members of the public can help by ensuring their voicemail box is setup and available, and by answering the phone when public health calls. Only those people who meet the definition of a close contact will receive calls. A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. It is important that people who are not named as close contacts and are not sick do not go to the clinic or hospital seeking coronavirus testing.

All residents should continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask when social distancing is difficult, stay home when you’re sick, minimize non-essential travel, and limit close contacts. Vulnerable populations, including those over 65 and those with compromised immune systems, should continue to shelter in place.

The COVID-19 Information Line remains open and staffed. Your questions can be answered by a knowledgeable public health staff member by calling 406-433-6947.