More students in quarantine after positive virus case

Monday, November 9, 2020

Another positive COVID-19 case has been identified at Park High School, the Livingston School District announced Friday.

One student is safely isolated at home and an additional three students, identified as close contacts, are quarantining, according to a district press release.

No classes or extracurricular activities will be disrupted, the release said. The Livingston School District Board is scheduled to discuss further reopening schools at a Zoom meeting set for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Park County Health Officer Dr. Laurel Desnick said in a video Friday none of the cases reported in schools have been passed around in the school buildings, but there are quite a few kids in quarantine throughout the county.

Desnick said people in quarantine, which is different than being in isolation, should keep distanced from family members as much as possible, but it is OK to share food and even a bathroom as long as cleanliness is maintained.

Quarantined individuals, those identified as close contacts but without symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test, don’t need to stay in a separate room all the time, Desnick said, but should keep their masks on properly when close to other people.

“The main goal of quarantine is to end the chain of transmission from a sick person to a well person,” Desnick said.

Park County reported 124 active COVID-19 cases Monday, according to the state of Montana, with 11 new cases reported Saturday and seven new cases reported Sunday.

Desnick said the county has seen about seven new cases per day over the past week.

“We have several clusters, with multiple friends and family members all turning positive within a few days of each other,” Desnick said.

Desnick said the main routes of infection are parties, riding in cars together and entertaining out-of-town guests.

No new Park County cases were reported Monday, but, according to the state of Montana, because of a technology upgrade installed over the weekend, local health officials were not able to report cases until late Sunday, which meant a lower number of reported cases Monday and will likely mean a higher number of cases reported by the state Tuesday.

As of Sunday, the state’s hospital occupancy and capacity report listed five COVID-19 patients at Livingston HealthCare, but the hospital’s overall capacity under 70% of beds filled.

There is no evidence of community spread in Park County, according to the state’s COVID-19 website.