Ravalli County Adds 5 New COVID-19 Cases
The Monday afternoon report from Ravalli County Public Health added 5 more positive tests for COVID-19. Public Information Officer Joseph Hopkins said that one is a male under the age of 20, two are teenagers younger than 18, and two are females in the 50s. That makes 17 active coronavirus cases in the valley, with two people hospitalized.
In a separate issue, some are asking about the results from the July 16th "snapshot" testing at the Hamilton High School parking lot, where over 800 people were tested — part of statewide drive-through testing in many communities to help track COVID-19’s spread. As of Monday morning, Ravalli County's test results have still not been received - almost three weeks later. Health officials in Hamilton are ready to notify people of their results, but no test information is available. They have wound up in a national backlog of test results. The tests were sent to a national diagnostic testing company, which had done all the state’s "snapshot" surveillance COVID-19 testing. Health officials in other states have also reported backlogs, but Montana's delays seem to be among the longest. Governor Steve Bullock has announced that, to break through the backlog, labs at Montana State University will begin processing hundreds of Montana-administered tests.