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Zero Test Positive From Surveillance Testing

Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital reported in a press release on July 9, that zero of the 256 participants in the county’s surveillance testing on June 25 tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital and the Valley County Health Department are happy to report that 100 percent of the asymptomatic COVID-19 tests run at the Community Snapshot testing event at the NE MT Fairgrounds on 06/25/20 are NEGATIVE,” read the press release.

At the time of the tests, there were no reported cases of COVID-19 in Valley County and health care providers were optimistic the test results would reflect the lack of cases. The 100 percent negative results are a positive for the county health department.

“We at the Valley County Health Department are relieved that all of the tests were negative,” said the health department in a statement to the Courier. “We are waiting for the results from the Prairie Ridge staff and residents. Many visitors are here and our residents are also traveling and enjoying the summer. With the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Montana and throughout the nation rising, we are likely to have more cases. It is our hope that the people of Valley County are ready to better social distance, to do the hand hygiene diligently, and to wear a mask to protect each other.”

Since the surveillance testing occurred in late June, the county has reported four cases related to residents of the county with three of the active cases being present in the county. All of the cases contracted the virus out of the area with the exception of one that was detected through contact tracing, according to county health department releases.

Cases in Montana as a whole have continued to rise as the state reports a total of 1,843 lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections with 936 of those active cases, 28 active hospitalizations and 32 related deaths, as of July 12. At that time, Valley County was also reporting only one active case of COVID-19. The Billings area had the highest number of active cases with 339 current cases out of 525 total reported in Yellowstone County.

FMDH, the health department and the state will be hosting a second surveillance testing event on July 15. Drive-thru testing will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds and walk-thru testing will be available from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in downtown Glasgow near D&G Sports and Western.

The county cautioned that testing results only apply to a specific population at a specific time and can change over time. The press release stated, “Community Snapshot testing provides valuable information about asymptomatic community spread of the virus for specific points in time. Even if you attended the previous Community Snapshot testing event, we urge you to attend again on July 15.”

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 you can be tested for the virus by contacting Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital 406-228-3509 or the county health department at 406-228-6261.


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