HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state health department announced eight new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday out of more than 1,400 additional tests run a day earlier.
Six of the cases were from Gallatin County, and two were from Big Horn County. The new cases come after the state reported four new cases in Gallatin County and two new cases in Big Horn County on Tuesday.
Amid the increase in cases, the Gallatin City-County Board of Health voted on Tuesday to permit bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries and casinos to stay open one hour later, until 12:30 a.m. It also allows limited seating at bars, with restrictions intended to limit contact with serving areas and bartenders or staff, according to the Gallatin City-County Health Department.
A COVID-19 case reported in the Missoula County in late May was a false positive, the Missoulian reported.
The case was originally believed to be contracted through community spread, but because Missoula had gone weeks without a positive case, the Department of Public Health and Human Services called for the person to be tested again, said Ken Parks, who is serving as the COVID-19 incident commander. The second test came back negative.
Montana has 561 known cases of COVID-19. Seven residents remain hospitalized, including four in Big Horn County. Eighteen people have died.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.