The highest number of positive COVID-19 cases reported in Ravalli County during the pandemic was Wednesday, October 7. Information Officer Joseph Hopkins said 19 new cases were received, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday. That makes a new total of 49 active COVID-19 cases in the Bitterroot Valley. Of those 49, seven people are hospitalized. Hopkins reported in the news release that "Ravalli County is currently receiving an influx in new cases which is overwhelming county resources."

The new cases include almost all ages: Five men and one woman in their 50s, one woman in her 40s, a man and a woman in their 20s, three teenage girls, a woman and a man in their 60s, two women and a man in their 70s and two other men.

There were major reports statewide, too. Wednesday's Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services report was a huge 733 new positive tests with over 200 of those in Missoula County.

Nurses are asking the community to be aware of the impact your social choices are making on family, friends and community. That includes your decisions on travel, attending gatherings, increasing your social contacts outside of work and home environments, and of course, not following the three W's - Wash your hands often, Wear a mask, Watch that social distancing.

If you have had an exposure to a known COVID-19 case, please quarantine yourself for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. If you start coughing or have a headache with fever, call your health provider. Also, people have reported loss of sense of taste. Do not go to work if you have any such symptoms. And remember, this is the onset of flu season. Questions? The Public Health office is at 375-6672.