The Tuesday October 6th report from Ravalli County Public Health doubled last Tuesday's report with eight new positive tests for COVID-19. That brings the total active infections to 30, with 6 of those people hospitalized.

The new coronavirus cases are five women - 2 in their 50s and one each in their 30s, 40s and 60s, and three men - their ages - 60s, 70s, 80s. The public nurses are investigating the source of transmission on four of the women and one of the men, while the others were infected probably by community spread.

The increases have continued to stress the small Ravalli County Public Health Department, according to a news release from information officer Joseph Hopkins. Health officials are worried that the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases could overwhelm our hospital and public health services. Nurses are asking the community to be aware of the impact your social choices are making on family, friends and community. That includes your decisions on travel, attending gatherings, increasing your social contacts outside of work and home environments, and of course, not following the three W's - Wash your hands often, Wear a mask, Watch that social distancing.

If you have had an exposure to a known COVID-19 case, please quarantine yourself for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. If you start coughing or have a headache with fever, call your health provider. Also, people have reported loss of sense of taste. Do not go to work if you have any such symptoms. And remember, this is the onset of flu season. Questions? The Public Health office is at 375-6672.

Ravalli County Public Health officials reminded us that "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."