The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Gwendolyne Honrud
The Courier 

COVID Update for Valley County

 

March 24, 2021



As of March 22, 2021, Valley County had 13 active COVID-19 cases with 871 recovered persons. The county reported 10 new cases between March 9 and 17. Seven of the new cases were in the 60-69 age range with one each in age less than 10, 40-49 and 70-79. Cases were split evenly between males and females.

The Valley County Health Department reported seven new cases in the period between March 17 and 22. Two cases were aged 10 or under, two were in the 20-29 age range, two in the 30-39 range, and one in the 60-69 age bracket. Six of the cases were females and one was male.

The Montana Response map showed 1,026 Valley County residents have been fully vaccinated as of March 22. Currently, Valley County is 17.3 percent vaccinated. An additional 1,668 persons have received the first of two vaccine doses. In Valley County, 5,917 persons are eligible for vaccination.

Governor Greg Gianforte announced on March 16 that COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Montanans beginning April 1. The Valley County Health Department announced that same day that they are ready to sign up any Valley County resident who wishes to receive a vaccine. Sign-ups can be done at valleycountyhealthglasgowmt.formstack.com or by calling 228-6261.

Currently, Valley County has primarily received the Moderna vaccine, with 200 doses being delivered each week. The Moderna vaccine is given in two doses, scheduled 28 days, or one month, apart. The County has received 100 doses of the Janssen vaccine, but the health department does not expect additional Janssen vaccines to be delivered.

Valley County Health Department encourages all persons to get any vaccine that is made available to them, bringing them in line with health experts across the country. A side-by-side comparison of the three vaccines currently available was provided on social media by VCHD and may be found at https://astho.org/COVID-19/Vaccine-Comparison/

The Moderna vaccine, which has been the primary vaccine for Valley County, is approved for persons aged 18 and over. Two weeks after the second dose, the vaccine is 94.1 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection. In addition, it is 88 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and 100 percent effective against death resulting from COVID-19. Insufficient data is availble to evaulute the safety of the vaccine for pregnant individuals, who are encouraged to discuss the vaccine’s benefits and risks with their health provider.

Side effects are reported more by younger adults and tend to occur more often after the second dose. Injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, and fever are the most common side effects.

Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) last week released a report outlining the impacts of COVID-19 on the state. In Montana, the coronavirus became the third leading cause of death in 2020. The Montana death rate increased 14 percent compared with the previous five-year average. Eleven individuals in Valley County have died from COVID-19. Native Americans make up approximately 7 percent of Montana’s population and have been disproportionately killed by the disease, accounting for 18 percent of of Montana’s COVID-19 related deaths. The DPHSS report may be found via the DPHHS site: https://dphhs.mt.gov/

DPHHS further provided an update on variant COVID-19 strains found in Montana. As of March 17, the state had found 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variant strains. The department learned of 11 new variant cases, which match two California variant strains and a New York variant strain, on March 16 and 17. Valley County was among 10 counties in which the 11 cases were detected.

 

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