COVID-19 is serious, Montana. Let’s stay the course, don’t stop taking the steps needed to prevent the virus from spreading. All the sacrifices Montanans are making are helping, and a vaccine is on the way. Let’s keep our families and communities healthy and give healthcare workers the ability to safely treat all patients. Remember to wear a mask for public outings, social distance, wash your hands, and keep social gatherings at a minimum. Let's beat Covid-19 in the new year!
Together, let’s stop the spread and save lives.
PSA: 30 "Stay the Course" feat. actor Jeff Bridges
COVID-19 in Montana: How do I stay healthy and safe?
People can spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms.
How you can protect yourself and stop the spread:
Stay home when you can.
If you go out, stay 6 feet away from others.
Wear a non-medical cloth mask or face covering in public settings.
Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds every time, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your nose and face.
Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
All public gatherings or events where it is not possible to practice social distancing must be strictly limited to include 25 people or fewer.
Montanans are urged in the strongest terms to limit their involvement in any in-person gatherings of 15 or more people - including private gatherings inside a home.
COVID-19 in Montana: What should I do if I feel sick?
COVID-19 is a disease that can affect your lungs and airways.
Fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees F or greater)
Shortness of breath (trouble breathing)
Some patients also report:
Loss of a sense of taste or smell
If you have any of these symptoms, and they are not due to a pre-existing health condition, you may have COVID-19 and you should isolate yourself at home immediately and call your Doctor or healthcare provider.
If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 911.
Click here below for a COVID-19 screening tool that can help understand what your symptoms mean and what to do next:
COVID-19 in Montana: How do I get tested?
Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.
There are two types of tests:
1) The YES/NO viral test
This is a nasal swab test, it takes about 10 seconds and is not painful and determines if you have COVID-19 or NOT.
CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.
How to get tested
COVID-19 testing differs by location. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your medical provider first. You can also visit your hospital’s website, or state or local health department’s website for the latest information on testing in your area.
What to do after you are tested
If you test positive for COVID-19, know what protective steps to take If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone.
If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your specimen was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. It is possible that you were very early in your infection when your specimen was collected and that you could test positive later. Or you could be exposed later and then develop illness. In other words, a negative test result does not rule out getting sick later.
2) The Antibody (Serology) Test
This test is done with blood samples to look for evidence of the body’s immune response to the virus. Whether you test positive or negative for COVID-19 on a viral or an antibody test, you still should take steps to protect yourself and others. We do not know how much protection (immunity) antibodies to the virus might provide against getting infected again. Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection have been reported, but remain rare. Scientists are working to understand this.
COVID-19 in Montana: How can I help others?
COVID-19: Fast Facts
Stop the spread of rumors, know the facts about Covid-19.
Frequently asked questions
What is a coronavirus?
How is coronavirus transmitted?
How dangerous is coronavirus?
The latest estimates are that 80 percent of the people who get infected with the new coronavirus will experience a mild or moderate form of disease. Roughly 15 percent will develop a severe form of the disease requiring hospitalization. Some 5 percent will become critically ill. Sophisticated health care systems may be able to cure some critically ill patients, but the danger is that even the most advanced systems may be overwhelmed by the large numbers of people who will need to be hospitalized.
The high level of supportive and intensive care required to treat patients with COVID-19 places real challenges to even the most advanced health care systems.
COVID-19 is more dangerous for elderly people or people suffering from other infections or ailments. Children so far seem to be less affected by the disease. The mortality rates vary significantly from place to place.
Public health measures such as isolation, quarantine, and social distancing are generally put in place to limit community transmission, reduce the number of new cases and severely ill patients, protect the most vulnerable people, and manage health resources.