Health Department says COVID cases are on the rise in Missoula County

COVID-19 cases are back on the rise in Missoula County, said Dr. D’Shane Barnett, director of the Missoula City County Health Department.

As of Tuesday, there were 65 new cases and 203 active cases in Missoula. KGVO News has contacted Dr. Barnett for more details.

“We are definitely in a growth phase,” Dr. Barnett said. “The reason we are worried and the main thing we really want to keep tabs on is our hospitalizations. Our top priority is to preserve hospital capacity, and so today we have six people hospitalized with COVID-19. We just want to keep an eye on that because we don’t want our number of hospitalizations to get out of hand. »

Barnett was most concerned about what he called high-risk people in the community who are most susceptible to the COVID virus.

“The high-risk categories will always be our seniors and those with pre-existing conditions, especially diabetes, certain heart conditions and young children,” he said. “Anyone who you know would otherwise be at risk for respiratory disease needs to be extra careful if you’re immunocompromised, and that’s anyone who would be at risk for respiratory disease.”

Dr Barnett admitted that Missoula County residents may be tired of hearing about how to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“I know people are sick of this, but we really need to practice these behaviors that we know if we have symptoms, just stay home,” he said. “The tests are widely available. I don’t know if your listeners have seen this, but the feds have now authorized a third shipment of home testing. Also, you know there are stores here in Missoula, and they’re not reporting any home testing shortages. So if you have symptoms, stay home, get tested. With most home tests, you will need to test yourself several times over a few days, but while you are sick, stay home.

Dr. Barnett concluded by providing information on where Missoula County residents can get the COVID shot or boosters.

“People can still get vaccinated through the health department if they want to,” he said. “They would just call and they would schedule an appointment like you would for any regular vaccination through the Department of Health. The reason we don’t do vaccines at a mass clinic anymore is that most of the medical providers in town can also get you your COVID vaccine and booster, so if you haven’t been vaccinated or you don’t didn’t get your reminder, the first thing I would say is call your doctor.

Missoula health officials said the increase in cases was expected.

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