Missoula City County Health Officer Ellen Leahy took part in a COVID 19 Epidemiology Update on Thursday and addressed several topics.

Regarding Halloween, Leahy said if people gather for a party or get-together, the virus will spread.

“We are giving this virus to each other,” she said. “We meet with he people that we know, so a gathering in an apartment or a house for Halloween will spread the virus. It will spread in the 18 year-olds, the high school and the college age, as well as in the 30 to 39 age group. It will continue to spread. It is present."

Leahy said she and her staff continue to meet with local officials on how to address the rapidly increasing numbers of COVID 19 cases and deaths.

“We are actively in discussion with the board's (Board of Health) COVID committee,” said Leahy. “Last night we were looking at all of our indicators. We'll be meeting with elected officials, schools and other leaders and looking at these data trends and some of our indicators. We are also aware that the Governor is not issuing any additional restrictions, so any additional restrictions need to come locally. We are formulating some proposals, and we'll probably have announcements next week related to those.”

 

Leahy said the community is heading into cold and flu season and time is short to slow the growth of COVID 19.

“We are at a precarious point of being able to slow the numbers,” she said. “This next week we're going to know a lot more about whether we're going to be able to do that or not.”

Missoula County reports 89 new COVID-19 cases since Wednesday, a new one-day record.