New COVID cases decline, deaths increase statewide

By 
Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
COVID

The omicron COVID-19 wave is on its way down in Montana, though deaths from the latest surge are increasing.

Beaverhead County’s new cases are also in decline, with 13 new COVID cases reported in the past week. As of Tuesday, the county registered 12 active and 2,109 total cases since the start of the pandemic. Two of the new deaths reported last week were in women – one in her 30s, and one in her 80s. The women died on Jan. 13 and Jan. 24, respectively, according to public health officials. The county’s vaccination rate held steady at 56%.

Beaverhead County Public Health officials will begin shifting its COVID-19 investigation and contract tracing procedures, and is distributing free COVID testing kits countywide (see related story).

Montana added 3,873 new cases and 64 deaths in the past week, with some of those deaths attributed to case reconciliation for past months. As of Tuesday, the state listed 267,231 total cases and 3,873 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The state’s vaccination rate remained the same at 54%.

Hospitalizations statewide are declining, but more facilities are reporting full or near-full conditions. Barrett Hospital was 11% full, and had no people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the most recent statewide hospitalization report. Facilities in Musselshell and Yellowstone counties reported over 90% full. Hospitals in Cascade, Lewis and Clark, Meagher and Prairie counties reported 100% full.

There have been more than 78.7 million COVID cases and more than 945,600 deaths recorded nationwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The national vaccination rate is 64.9%.