The state of Montana reported 733 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, setting another daily record for positive tests of the coronavirus.

Here in Gallatin County, we have ten current hospitalizations due to the virus, according to the Gallatin City-County Health Department. That's the highest number of recorded hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March. The good news is we have not registered a death related to COVID-19 in nearly a month. The last was reported back on September 11th. We've had four people die in Gallatin County with COVID-19. The death rate locally for the coronavirus is 0.22%.

Interestingly, while positive COVID-19 cases are increasing around the state, the coronavirus death rate has actually dropped. As of today, we have 193 statewide deaths, according to the Montana State COVID-19 Response Map. The number of cumulative confirmed cases in the state is 16,063. That's a 1.2% death rate. Two months ago, it was 1.4%.

In a press conference today, Governor Steve Bullock spoke to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. While he hinted at re-implementing some restrictions should the trend continue, he did not institute any further mandates or directives today. The governor also expressed concern about hospitals' ability around the state to handle a further escalation of COVID-19 patients, especially in Yellowstone and Flathead counties. 

Yellowstone County, which includes Billings, has been the hot spot recently, reporting 1,137 current cases of COVID-19, according to the state. Earlier this week, many residents in Yellowstone County were worried when the health care system capacity was raised to red; however, that was dialed back down to yellow on Tuesday.

For more Gallatin County COVID-19 Data click here.

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