Active COVID cases reach 9,721 statewide; St. V's reduces elective surgeries

{{featured_button_text}} .tnt-restrict-img-24979dbc-1a6e-11ec-87a4-1f60f8067600 { max-width: 1393px; } EMILY SCHABACKER

During the last seven days, 45 more Montanans died of COVID-19, and 6,404 new cases have been added, bringing the active case count to 9,721.

Yellowstone County has the highest number of active cases with 2,066 and Missoula County follows at 1,262 active cases.

There are 358 active hospitalizations in the state, seven more than the previous week. In the last two months, there has been a 418% increase in hospitalizations. The last time there was a comparable increase was from Sept. 18, 2020 to Nov. 16, 2020, with a 405% increase. The two dates mark the lowest number of hospitalizations and the highest during the fall surge.

The sustained influx of COVID patients has pushed St. Vincent Healthcare to reduce the number of inpatient elective surgeries by 50% per day, effective Tuesday, Sept. 21, according to Jennifer Graves, director of quality at St. V’s.

“We looked at what variables are within our control,” Graves said. “The number of patients in the emergency department and urgent care, we need to care for those patents when they present…. We’re trying to impact

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