Are New COVID Restrictions for Gallatin County Warranted?
Friday, the Gallatin County Health Department instituted more stringent restrictions on local businesses and residents. For the next 90 days, or until the Board deems otherwise, we are to abide under the following rules:
- Bars, gyms, restaurants, and distilleries are to limit capacity to 50%. They must also close by 10 p.m.
- Gatherings of individuals must be limited to no more than 25 people. This applies to indoor and outdoor events, although there are some exemptions (churches & schools).
The entire list of rules can be found be clicking here.
According to the press release issued by the Gallatin City-County Health Department on Friday, the county has seen "rapid, widespread, and sustained increases in new cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and outbreaks in several long-term care facilities for seniors." They went on to say that "the rising level of disease is pushing hospitals in some Montana communities and neighboring states to near capacity, causing dozens of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Montana, and driving up the number of deaths of those who contract the disease."
There is no question that the number of cases is rising. And yes, hospitalizations are too. However, the death rate continues to remain steady, and even down compared to the summer, here in Gallatin County, around the state of Montana, and across the United States.
Here are the Provisional COVID Death Counts from the CDC. You can view each week since last February by clicking here.
Number of COVID-19 Related Deaths in U.S.
February . . . . . 16
March . . . . . . . 3,832
April . . . . . . . . 58,763
May . . . . . . . . 46,819
June . . . . . . . . 16,813
July . . . . . . . . 25,424
August . . . . . . 34,755
September . . . 16,711
October . . . . . 16,239
As of November 8, 2020, Montana is averaging 38 deaths per 100,000 people. That ranks us 12th from the bottom in the United States.
In Montana, we've had 456 deaths from 39,679 positive COVID-19 cases. That's a death rate of 1.14%. That still remains lower than the 1.4% we had when the spike of cases we're seeing now in Montana began around the middle of September.
Locally, in Gallatin County, we've suffered ten deaths related to the coronavirus from 4,194 positive cases. That gives us a 0.24% death rate. It should be noted that 6 of our county's 10 COVID related deaths have occurred in the past three weeks. Five of those deaths were cases in their 90s. One was in their 80s. Seven of our ten total COVID-19 deaths have been people in their 90s.
No school-age children have died from the virus and only 15% of those who have tested positive have been between the ages of 0-19. 35% of the positive test cases in Gallatin County have been in the 20-29 age demographic. That is the demographic with the most COVID-19 cases, and zero deaths have occurred in that age range.