The Ravalli County Board of Health met with the Ravalli County COVID-19 Emergency Incident Management team and the Ravalli County Commissioners yesterday. After discussing administrative and communication issues, the health officials talked about what is going well and how to get more information out to the general public. Officials are trying to make sure people know about wearing face masks in possibly crowded conditions such as grocery stores and that those coming into the county from out of state or out of the country need to self-quarantine for two weeks. Electronic warning signs along US 93 and posters at the entrances of grocery stores were suggested, along with more advertising on social media, and contact resources with the Council on Aging.

Karyn Johnston of the Public Health Nurses Office said the testing is continuing locally. She said over 177 tests have been conducted in the county and only three have been positive for COVID-19 so far. The tesets are sent to Helena and results are usually available within two days. Incident commander Dr. Carol Calderwood said the county is working with Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital to obtain more local testing equipment, but equipment is going to other areas that are experiencing shortages and delivery to Ravalli County has not been determined. The Board of Health requested more information from emergency officials and from the Hamilton hospital, especially details on future preparedness. The local emergency incident team has been operating under the State of Montana directives and the Ravalli County Commission declarations. The board may meet again next week.