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Montana Confirms Six Cases, Richland County Monitoring Exposures to COVID-19


March 18, 2020

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services announced over the weekend that Montana is no longer in the minority of states without positive cases of COVID-19.

Six individuals in Montana have tested positive for COVID-19 at the state laboratory. The positive cases were in Gallatin, Yellowstone, Silverbow and Broadwater Counties. Each of the cases had either a history of international travel, or domestically to Washington State. All four patients self-quarantined, had minimal contact with the public, and are recovering at home.

While Richland County still has no positive cases of COVID-19, one resident was tested out of state after being named as a contact to a positive case. The test came back negative. The Richland County Health Department is following up with identified contacts to determine risk level and institute self-quarantine procedures.

“The Health Department acted quickly and in accordance with guidance from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control to interview the identified contacts and provide self-quarantine recommendations,” said Brittney Petersen, Administrator for the Richland County Health Department. “At this time, we have determined that the risk to the general public is low, though our recommendations for standard precautions and social distancing remain valid,” Petersen reiterated.

“It is imperative that residents follow the guidance from the Health Department in regard to preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Jacquelyn Free, FNP, Richland County’s Health Officer and local healthcare provider. “The recommendations are both to protect you and those around you, and to help us get ahead of the virus. It’s not here yet, and we want to keep it that way.”

“To protect the health and safety of all our patients, residents, visitors and staff, Sidney Health Center is restricting visitation across the organization including the hospital, Cancer Care, Extended Care and The Lodge,” stated Jen Doty, Sidney Health Center CEO. “We are encouraging people seeking medical attention through the walk-in clinic to schedule a same-day appointment by calling 488-3963.”Standard precautions for residents are to stay home if you feel sick, wash hands frequently, cover your cough, and practice social distancing. Those who have been exposed to a confirmed case will be requested to self-quarantine until 14 days following exposure, and monitored for the development of symptoms.

If you have questions about the coronavirus, call the Richland County Health Department's Information Line at 406-433-6947. You may access important links on the Health Department’s coronavirus webpage at


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