Graph showing the five highest case rates in Montana. Provided by the Madison County Public Health Department.

Community transmission

A new COVID status for Madison County

The Madison County Public Health Department can no longer contact trace COVID-19 cases to known cases in the county or due to travel.

The county’s COVID-19 status was changed to community transmission during the Madison County Board of Health special meeting July 30. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the status means that the virus has infected people in the area, including some who are not sure how or where they were exposed to the virus. The MCPHD and the Department of Public Health and Human Services will work together to evaluate community spread in Madison County.

“We are seeing larger and larger amounts of people that we don’t know where they got this disease,” Madison County Public Health Nurse Melissa Brummel said. “They haven’t been anywhere but the community and they don’t know any known positives.” The status will not change much in the community but will potentially bring more resources to Madison County from the state, according to Brummel. Big Horn, Cascade, Lewis and Clark, Flathead, Gallatin, Missoula, Ravalli, Rosebud and Yellowstone counties are also at the community transmission point in the second wave of COVID-19. “Facts are we cannot trace back anymore,” Brummel said.


Madison County has the third highest case rate in Montana, with 872 infections per 100,000 people as of Aug. 4. Fifteen people tested positive for COVID-19 in Madison County, from July 28-Aug 4. Thirteen full-time residence tested positive last week, including one under the age of 10 and four in their 70s. New quarantines have declined for the second week in a row, with 51 additional people going into quarantine compared to 63 people the week before. Madison County has seven active cases and 78 cumulative COVID-19 cases, as of Aug. 4.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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