Thursday morning's Ravalli County Public Health COVID-19 report showed 82 new positive tests for the infection. That's the nighest daily number yet recorded during the pandemic. Public Health Director Tiffany Webber said the county now has 405 active cases of COVID-19. Yet, there are still at least 455 lab tests awaiting review.

The workload for the nurses has increased, as you might expect. The Public Health staff priority at this time is contacting and interviewing the people who have had positive COVID tests and giving them isolation instructions and quarantine advice for any household contacts.

Public Health is encouraging those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 to contact any close contacts and refer them to the online "Close Contact" instructions at the Ravalli County official COVID-19 website. You will also be able to read the latest Public Health press releases there.

Webber asked those who have received a positive test to isolate yourself away from others in your household. You may return to normal activities 10 days after symptoms started - provided that symptoms have improved with no new symptoms. And you must not have had a fever within 24 hours.

Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton is also assisting with press releases on the sheriff's App. Downloading information can be found at ravalli.us/595/Phone-apps-and-alerts .

The Thursday, November 19, Montana COVID-19 report from the Department of Public Health and Human Services showed 1,236 new COVID positive tests. Of the infections, 482 people are hospitalized. There have been at least 561 COVID-related deaths in Montana so far in the pandemic. Health officials are reporting over 20,000 active cases. Over 30,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus.

New statewide restrictions go into effect Friday with lower numbers of public gatherings and mask requirements for all counties.