Madison County’s climbing numbers
Eighteen Madison County residents and four seasonal residents have tested positive for COVID-19 between July 21 and July 28. The county has 12 active cases as of July 28.
A COVID-19 infected individual is considered an active case during their highest infection period, or 10 days after their first symptom. Many of the positive cases last week came from individuals who were tested a few days after first showing COVID-like symptoms.
“This last round indicated that people are going out in the community when they are symptomatic,” Madison County Public Health Nurse Melissa Brummel said. “If you’re sick at all, you need to stay home. If you have coronavirus-like symptoms, call your provider.”
Many of the recent COVID-19 positive cases were from a household contact, which reduced the amount of additional people quarantining compared to past weeks. Madison County Public Health Department contacts, tests and quarantines people who were in close contact with a known case. Some individuals continued to be out in the community during their high infectious period, but they may not have come into close contact with many community members. Close contact is considered within 6 feet of an infected individual for 15 minutes.
According to Brummel, fever is not a common symptom in Madison County’s COVID-19 cases. As of July 28, 63 Madison County residents have tested positive for the novel virus. Brummel said that less then 10% ever had a fever while infected.
“Do not rely on fever to show if you have COVID,” Brummel said. “If you have a cough or sore throat, assume COVID.”
More than half of Madison County’s cases have been adults over the age of 50. There is little countywide data on symptoms in children. Schools should still consider using temperature checks in the upcoming schoolyear as one of the methods to monitor students, according to Brummel.
The MCPHD has received results from 1,016 COVID-19 tests. Results from the surveillance testing in Virginia City July 10 have not been returned from the backlogged state labs. But untestable samples have been returned and MCPHD is contacting those individuals.
Madison County has the third highest COVID-19 infection rate per capita in Montana. Gallatin County is fourth, and Big Horn County and Garfield County are ahead of Madison County in infection rates per 100,000 people.