At the beginning of September 2020, Ravalli County had 10 active cases of COVID-19. That number suddenly dropped off and by September 8, Ravalli County Health Department was reporting only three active cases. This put the county in a position that it was no longer required to follow the restrictions contained in the governor’s directive which only applied to counties with four or more active cases. That was only for a day, unfortunately. After that the number of cases began to rise (see adjoining graph) with only a couple of dips along the way. The number of active cases steadily climbed to 23 by the end of the month. While that number dropped to 21 by Friday, October 2, by Monday, October 5, it was up to 26 with 11 new cases added that day. Public Health nurses continue to release active cases from isolation once they recover from symptoms, at the same time new cases are getting added on a daily basis. Four active cases are currently hospitalized.
The recent increase in new COVID-19 cases continues to stress Ravalli County’s Public health Department, leading to a public plea for citizens to “please be aware of the potential impact your social choices may have on your family, friends, and community. Any sustained increase in COVID-19 cases has the potential to overwhelm our hospital and Public Health services.”
Choosing to travel, attend gatherings/events, or interact socially with people outside of your work/home cohort, are all behaviors correlated with higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. COVID-19 can only continue to spread if our community allows the conditions necessary for transmission by not covering our faces, not maintaining physical distance from one another, and not following strict hand hygiene practices.
The department recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms such as a new onset of cough, or a headache or fever, warrants medical attention and should contact their medical provider.
• DO NOT assume that new symptoms you are experiencing are related to allergies or a cold.
• DO NOT attend work or interact with others if you have ANY symptoms of illness.
• If you have had an exposure to a known case of COVID-19, the safest practice is to quarantine immediately for a period of 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
“While reducing your number of interactions may mean sacrificing some familiar social comforts, it remains the best way to avoid becoming a link in the chain of transmission,” state Public Health officials.