December 2, 2020
Montana’s COVID-19 numbers dropped last week with the long holiday weekend, with one day of reporting showing fewer than 400 cases. Health experts across the nation, however, are predicting a surge of new cases in the upcoming weeks as people return to normal routines from travel and holiday get-togethers without quarantining. If persons do not quarantine, it is highly recommended that they stay home if exhibiting any signs of illness.
The most recent update for Valley County from the Health Department was posted on Nov. 27. That update showed 43 active cases in the county and 503 recovered cases. Total cases recorded in Valley County were 552 and official numbers show 39 total hospitalizations and six deaths. Additional deaths in the county have reportedly been attributed to COVID-19 but have not been publicly confirmed by the Valley County Health Department.
Two cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Glasgow School System last week. Both cases were at the Irle School. The cases were confirmed on Nov. 23 and 25. The students had last had contact with students and staff on Nov. 16 and 19, respectively. The students in the class(es) involved continued with remote learning per the district’s coronavirus plans. As of Nov. 24, the school had four active cases and 62 recovered, for a total of 66 cases. Twenty-one persons remained quarantined as contacts of positive cases, contributing to the total number of 147 for quarantines.
On Nov. 25, Governor Steve Bullock announced additional funding for K-12 schools in Montana for further COVID-19 health and safety measures. According to a press release, $75 million was directed to schools in July to assist with safely reopening and to cover the additional expenses needed to protect students this school year.
Approximately $13 million will be distributed to schools for expenditures under the CARES Act, which must be used before Dec. 30, 2020. The funds include transportation reserves, unspent funding from districts and new Coronavirus Relief Funds. The funds must be used on direct COVID-19-related costs, such as personal protective equipment, incremental staffing and transportation.
Glasgow Schools will receive $266,746. Frazer will receive $7,706 for the elementary school and $2,622 for the high school. Hinsdale is set to receive $15,390 for the elementary and $12,893 for the high school.