Beaverhead County suffers 25th COVID death, case counts subsiding

Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, February 16, 2022

A man in his 80s died Feb. 2 from COVID-19, public health officials reported Monday. The death marks the 25th for Beaverhead County since the start of the pandemic.

The man died at a Beaverhead County facility, Public Health Director Sue Hansen said.

The death comes as the omicron COVID wave continues to subside and active case counts decline. Beaverhead County added 25 cases and one death in the past week. As of Tuesday, the county had 29 active cases, 2,071 total cases, and 25 deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Most of the new cases were in people in their 20s, followed by children aged 0-9 and teens. The county’s vaccination rate remained at 56%.

Case counts are increasing in schools statewide. The University of Montana Western clocked 56 total cases since the start of the school year, with 14 of those in the past two weeks, according to the most recent statewide report. Beaverhead County High School added seven cases in the past two weeks, with 41 total (29 of which are in students). Jackson and Wisdom schools reported one case each in students; Lima and Polaris schools listed one case each for staff; Wise River School had three cases in students; and Youth Challenge had 15 total cases (13 in students).

Dillon Middle School had 33 total cases, with 25 in students. And Parkview Elementary listed four cases, with three in students.

The state added 5,561 new cases and 40 new COVID deaths over the past week. As of Tuesday, there were 258,765 total cases and 3,083 deaths recorded in Montana. The state’s vaccination rate remained at 54%.

Barrett Hospital was 50% full and had no one hospitalized with COVID as of the most recent statewide hospitalization report. Facilities in Prairie and Yellowstone counties were over 90% full. Hospitals in Big Horn, Cascade, Lewis and Clark and Meagher counties reported 100% full. Statewide hospitalizations were in a holding pattern for the past week.

There have been more than 77.5 million COVID cases and over 916,900 deaths nationwide. The national vaccination rate sits at 64.4%.