Montana coronavirus report

The latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic in Montana, including updated case count maps and original in-depth reporting.

Latest health Reporting

With delays, a ripple of impacts

How slow COVID-19 test results complicate life for public health workers and patients.

How slow COVID-19 test results complicate life for public health workers and patients.

Months into pandemic, concern persists for homeless people

For program operators, emergency funding is “not accessible the way we need it. Which is, we need it now.”

The COVID-19 pandemic, for many shelters and residents, has proven to be a distinct challenge compared to other disasters, such as fires or floods. Part of the difficulty comes from a tangled web of bureaucratic procedures and relief funds at the federal, state and local levels. But nearly five months into the crisis, some providers also describe feeling forgotten or misunderstood by policy makers, to the detriment of the populations they serve.

Hard to help

At least three Montana county public health officials have stepped down in recent weeks, citing disagreements with local elected officials. Others say lack of public cooperation and partisan blowback is complicating their jobs.

McCully and other Montana public health officials said the number of people who are not cooperating with contact tracers is small, but that they waste valuable resources when they mislead nurses and pose a risk to others when they ignore health officials’ requests for information. Lack of cooperation is also taking a toll on public health nurses who are working long hours in the midst of a pandemic.

MORE HEALTH COVERAGE

How the world’s oldest nation cares for its elderly

Montana, the oldest state in the western United States, faces many of the same problems as Japan, the world’s oldest country. Might there be solutions for Montana from what looks to be a successful experiment enacted two decades ago to help pay for elder care in Japan?

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MORE HEALTH REPORTING

Disputed Medicaid audit gets a hearing

The audit, which concludes that sloppy Medicaid administration could result in an $84 million liability for the state, got a frosty reception from health department officials, governor’s aides and their Democratic allies.

Outside the boxes

Health care professionals anticipate a pandemic-induced mental health crisis. Some doctors think prescriptions for time in nature can help.

‘A window has been opened’

BOZEMAN — Mindy Misener said she’s always been supportive of her friends who have delivered babies at home under the guidance of a midwife, but it wasn’t something she envisioned for herself. She had been planning to give birth in a hospital and sought care from a provider at Bozeman Health early in her pregnancy. […]

Returning to roots

The Fort Belknap Indian Health Service hospital is seeking applicants for two traditional practitioner positions — the first of their kind in Montana.

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