There is soon to be one more location for Madison County residents to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Madison County Public Health Director Emilie Sayler announced recently that her department is now authorized to house and administer the vaccine.
Thanks to government-funded programs, at-home Covid-19 tests are now easier to come by. The Madison County Public Health Department recently received 1,877 two-test kits from the state which are now available at the MCPHD office in Virginia City as well as the Ennis Pharmacy and Mac’s CHC Pharmacy in Sheridan. Tests are also available at https://www.covidtests.gov/.
According to MCPHD Director Emilie Sayler, the goal is to have a test kit in every county household, noting at the Feb. 1 Madison County Commissioner meeting that Omicron is spreading rapidly, albeit often with little to no symptoms and with symptoms lasting briefly. These tests, she said, are especially helpful for those that have recently had close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
Sayler did ask that anyone picking up a test, that’s either symptomatic or who shares a household with someone that is, should call ahead to the health department or pharmacy to set up contactless pickup.
“It’s alarming, the number of people who will come directly into the office while they are actively sick or someone in their household is sick,” Sayler told commissioners. “We want to reduce those potential exposures.”
Reporting changes on the horizon
Following advice handed down from the state health department, MCPHD will shift to online case investigation next week.
Prior to the shift, when a county resident tests positive for Covid-19, they’ll receive a call from the health department for a data collection interview. In the new scenario, covid-positive individuals will receive a link to an online survey which will go to the county health department and ultimately to the state database.
The change, said Sayler, will dramatically reduce her already overloaded staff’s phone time, clearing more time for thorough data input, and most importantly, allowing the department to focus on contacting the county’s highrisk population.
If a person doesn’t complete the online survey, the health department will still follow up via telephone.
“It seems that this is probably our best bet in transitioning from pandemic response to covid to endemic response to covid,” said Sayler. “It’s really going to help us to work this into our new normal, daily workflow.”
The more readily available home tests and updated reporting guidelines come as the state reports a pandemic record-high number of active cases to start out February. Locally, a full quarter of Madison County covid tests are coming back positive.
Sayler stated that while the county reports low active cases (just 41 as of Feb. 2), she expects that number to climb in the coming days due to a lag in at-home positive tests getting reported along with a fax machine outage over the weekend.
One of Madison County’s nursing homes is currently in outbreak status after a staff member recently tested positive for the coronavirus.
It's been a while since Madison County Public Health Director Emilie Sayler provided a Covid-19 update for Madison County Commissioners, but with cases on the rise statewide Sayler was back at the commissioner’s meeting with an update on August 17.
According to the Montana State Library Covid-19 dashboard, as of August 9 the state had 395 new cases. Madison County had 16 active cases, three of those new.
As of June 15, Madison County reported two active coronavirus cases and 789 confirmed positive cases throughout the pandemic. There are currently no active hospitalizations.
The state of Montana saw an increase of 932 cases over the past week, resulting in a total of 112,761 cases through the pandemic.
As of June 1, Madison County had three active COVID-19 cases, zero hospitalizations and 786 confirmed positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Montana reports a 43% rate of residents fully vaccinated, and Madison County sits just below that at 38%.
As of May 18, Madison County reported one active coronavirus case and zero hospitalizations. One hospitalization was reported late last week, but the individual was able to check out early. Seven hundred and ninety cases have been confirmed over the course of the pandemic.
As of May 11, Madison County reported four active coronavirus cases. There are currently zero hospitalizations and there have been 786 cases since the start of the pandemic.
As of of May 4, Madison County reported eight active COVID-19 cases. There have been 781 confirmed cases in the county since the start of the pandemic and there are currently zero hospitalizations.
As of April 27, Madison County reported 18 active coronavirus cases. There have been 775 confirmed positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic. No residents are currently hospitalized.