Helena hospital has a record high of 41 COVID patients

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Intensive care unit nurses discuss a patient’s medications in September inside St. Peter’s Heath in Helena.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record Phil Drake

St. Peter’s Health said it has reached an “unfortunate milestone” in the COVID-19 pandemic as 41 patients were hospitalized with the disease as of Friday morning, the highest number to date.

This number accounts for about 50% of the regional medical center’s acute medical care inpatient beds. St. Peter’s officials do not believe the surge at the hospital is at its peak, as hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 typically lag case reporting by two to three weeks.

Lewis and Clark County reported high case numbers this week, with Tuesday’s total of 132 new cases representing the highest since December 2020, St. Peter’s officials said in a news release. The state of Montana reported 1,315 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, making for a total of 158,680 confirmed reports of the respiratory illness. Of those, 144,062 people have recovered and 2,079 have died.

St. Peter’s said it is taking

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