Montana COVID cases creep up during holidays

Active COVID cases crept upwards over the last week as families travel and gather indoors for the holidays.

Over the last seven days, at least 1,115 new cases were added in Montana, bringing the total active case count to 1,775. It is the first time since early October that the total active case count was higher than the previous week.

As of Dec. 21, three cases of omicron have been detected in Montana, according to the most recent state data. Delta remains the most prominent variant in the state.

So far, omicron has resulted in less severe illness and less risk of hospitalization or death as compared to delta, according to one study.

Over the last week, at least 21 more Montanans died from a COVID-related illness. On Monday, there were 112 active hospitalizations, down from 126 the previous week.

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Missoula, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark and Flathead counties added the most cases over the weekend with 80, 77, 42 and 40 respectively.

Of those, Lewis and Clark County has the highest positivity rate at 15.3%, meaning there are likely many COVID cases going undetected in the county.

Two more Yellowstone County residents died

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