Following a press conference on Tuesday afternoon (8/4), RiverStone Health released information about the spread of COVID-19 in Yellowstone County during the month of July.

850 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Yellowstone County last month, with more than 300 of those cases still active as of July 31, according to the July recap from RiverStone Health.

In the last week of July alone (July 26-August 1), 181 new COVID-19 cases were added in Yellowstone County.

Today, there are 52 people who have COVID-19 in our Yellowstone County hospitals. That is 72% of all active hospitalizations in the state. Of those 52 patients, 9 are in the ICU and 7 are on ventilators. Thirty-one of those patients are Yellowstone County residents. About 40% are from the region outside of Yellowstone County. -RiverStone Health Yellowstone Co. July 2020 Overview.

The RiverStone Health July recap also reported 149 positive COVID-19 cases were either residents or staff at one of Yellowstone counties nine senior living facilities. Canyon Creek Memory Care has 96 of those positive cases, according to the press release.

Of the 27 Yellowstone County residents that have died from the novel coronavirus, 17 resided in a senior living facility.

According to the recap from RiverStone Health, the spike in Yellowstone County COVID-19 cases "has stressed our public health agency and our hospitals." They went on to say that the local healthcare system has moved its capacity level to stage "yellow," which means "the challenges related to COVID-19 are beginning to outpace capacity."

RiverStone Health hired 25 part-time employees in the month of July, and the State of Montana connected the organization with around 20 nursing students to help with contact tracing. RiverStone is still hiring staff to help with the workload, and to replace students when they return to class.

The July recap from RiverStone Health also reported more than 150 calls have been made to their public health information line about mask issues, with the most common complaint being "businesses that aren't following the masking directive."

RiverStone Health continues to provide free, drive-through testing on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Shrine Auditorium. This testing is available only to people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been notified by RiverStone Health that they are close contacts of someone who has tested positive.

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