The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has been keeping track of infections, inoculations and deaths in the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. Recently, the department finished their latest comprehensive report of deaths associated with COVID-19.

Tiffany Webber of Ravalli County Public Health said that the latest update added 44 confirmed deaths in the county this year from the beginning of April through November, with most of the deaths were in October. That brings the total in Ravalli County to 116. She said the health officials double-check and reconcile the reports before releasing the numbers.

The report also showed that statewide since the beginning of April this year, 83 percent of Montanans hospitalized and 77 percent of those who died were unvaccinated when they were infected. More information is at the MDPHHS website.

Webber said the best way to reduce the spread of illness, including the current flu season, is to:

  • get vaccinated with any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines.
  • mask up when appropriate.
  • watch your physical distancing.
  • frequent handwashing and sanitizing.
  • cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • stay home if you are sick.
  • Ravalli County Public Health thanked the local pharmacies for providing COVID test kits and COVID vaccine shots.

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    In a separate news release from Helena, Montana DPHHS Director Adam Meier said that he still encourages all eligible Montanans to talk to their health professionals and get vaccinated. However, he agreed with the recent federal court ruling that granted a preliminary injunction against a CMS vaccine mandate for health care workers, "particularly in light of its legal shortcomings and the dire impact it would have on frontier states like Montana."

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