Monday's report from Ravalli County Public Health shows 11 COVID-19 positive tests. That is the highest daily report since the pandemic started. There are now 26 active cases in the valley, with four people hospitalized. The list includes three women (two in their 50s and one in her 60s) and 8 men (one in his 30s, one in his 40s, two in their 50s, two in their 60s and two in their 70s). The majority of the infections were from Community Spread, according to Public Information Officer Joseph Hopkins. By the way, Missoula County has seen an uptick in positive tests, too, with a new record daily total of 82 last Thursday.

Elsewhere, the Hamilton School District 3 was notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19. However, the person was previously quarantined because of close contact with another positive case, so was absent from the schools when the positive test was done. Because of the length of time they were not at the school prior to the test, Public Health did not recommend any quarantines or closures, according to School District officials.

With flu season arriving, health officials are urging the public to get this year's flu shot. Ravalli County Public Health is offering shots for $10 on Tuesdays only with prior appointments at (406) 375-6672. Most insurance companies cover the cost. Sapphire Health Clinic in Hamilton is offering free shots, and flu shots are available at most pharmacies and from your health providers. Call them and find out.

Why is the flu shot so important this year? The common cold and influenza are spread by respiratory droplets, just like COVID-19. If you come down with an infection, the doctors can more quickly diagnose what you have - if they know you've had a flu shot. Besides, you don't want either the flu or COVID! So, we repeat, Wash your hands often, Wear a mask in public and Watch your social distancing, especially in rooms.

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