Ravalli County Public Health
July 16, 2020
As of 4pm today, Ravalli County Public Health has received no new cases of COVID-19.
Gov. Bullock has announced a statewide mandate for Montanans to wear a mask in all indoor public places. This mandate applies to all counties where there are more than four active cases. Ravalli County currently has nine active cases of COVID-19. One of these cases remains a presumptive positive due to symptoms consistent with the virus, as well as direct contact with family members who are active cases. Contact tracing has been performed on all cases by Public Health nurses.
All active cases are in isolation and their contacts are in quarantine.
Public Health nurses continue to release active cases from isolation as they recover from symptoms. Direct contacts are released from quarantine as they complete their 14-day period without symptoms.
As of 2:45pm today, Ravalli County Public Health nurses, partnering with the State of Montana and the National Guard, have administered over 500 tests to residents during the Community Snapshot COVID-19 Testing Clinic. The clinic will continue to run until 6pm this evening to accommodate residents whose schedule requires a later arrival.
Additional important information for the Ravalli County community:
Montanans are all on the same team when it comes to eliminating the threat of COVID-19 from our communities. The importance of adhering to Public Health recommendations cannot be overstated.
- It is important that residents do their best to keep their contact circles as small as possible. This behavior can help Ravalli County avoid a large community outbreak.
- Every person with whom you interact, regardless of their age or gender, whether they appear ill or not, has the potential to unintentionally transmit COVID-19 to you.
- This virus can be spread by people who are unaware that they are infected. People DO NOT have to look sick, or have symptoms to spread COVID-19 to others.
- The best way to keep yourself, your family, your friends, and your community safe, is to behave as though every person you encounter has been exposed to COVID-19.
- This means maintaining a safe distance (minimum of six feet)
- This means wearing a mask while in public or interacting with others
- This means washing your hands often, and consciously avoiding natural urges to touch your face.
The following is a letter from the Ravalli County Health Officer:
To Whom It May Concern,
I have made the decision to cancel most of the 2020 County Fair, with support of the Ravalli County Board of Health, solely due to an eminent threat of escalation (from current steady community spread) to exponential spread with subsequent increases in morbidity and mortality.
We are at a juncture in the outbreak when our combined social actions are probably at their most critical, in shaping the upslope and overall shape of the local pandemic curve. In Public Health during this pandemic, our highest priorities are to protect the most vulnerable from uncontrolled spread and to protect the infrastructure of our healthcare delivery system. I have pondered the fair extensively, and cannot justify allowing a mass gathering at this critical time, with such potential for deleterious impact. The responsibility of making these hard decisions are mine and I cannot let the fair go forward now, with good conscience.
We are also required by law to uphold the Governor’s Directives for reopening and are currently in phase 2. The Fair Board worked hard on plans, and I know outside activities are generally safer, but I do not believe in my heart that people would socially distance in this setting, and spread would be unmitigated. Tracing cases and contacts acquired at the fair would be impossible and attendees would unknowingly spread COVID more rapidly throughout the community.
Please also see BOH letters of support.
Carol Calderwood, MD