Ravalli County Public Health reported that a woman in her 70s has tested positive for COVID-19 and they are unable to trace the case back to either travel or exposure to another case. That makes it "community spread," which means where she got the virus locally is unknown. Karyn Johnston of Public Health stressed that masks and physical distancing are measures proven to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The county now has 8 active cases and all are in isolation and their contacts are in quarantine. There have been 27 cases of COVID-19 so far in the valley, even though the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) show less than that. Johnston said three of the positive tests were from people who have out-of-state addresses. Of all infected in Ravalli County, only two have been hospitalized (and have recovered). She said not all of the people had symptoms when they were tested.

Saturday morning, the Montana DPHHS COVID-19 numbers showed 23 new positive tests, with 8 more in Gallatin County for a 239 total, 5 in Yellowstone for 149 total and three in Missoula County for 66 total. Community spread has been declared in Missoula, too. Carbon, Cascade, Flathead, Glacier, Granite, Lewis & clark, and Park Counties each had 1 new case. There have been 22 deaths and 604 recoveries. Nine people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Montana. There have been over 81,000 tests conducted statewide so far.

Karyn Johnston said, in a news release, "COVID-19 is a serious viral disease that can cause severe illness and even death. There is no vaccine or readily available treatment. It can be transmitted by people who are unaware that they are infected. Therefore, Ravalli County Public Health Department continues to stress that masks and physical distancing are measures proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We encourage people to be cautious, wear masks, and try to maintain a 6-foot physical distance.
Please remember that people in our county are vulnerable to this disease – such as those taking certain medications or with weakened immune systems. Their lives could be threatened by being infected. Others at high risk include the elderly and people with underlying conditions, such as asthma and autoimmune diseases.

It’s up to everyone to protect ourselves and our neighbors."