Madison County COVID update

Between Jan. 10 and Jan. 18, 56 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Madison County. Eight individuals are hospitalized, 145 in quarantine and three additional Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing the total death count related to Covid-19 during the pandemic to six.

Madison County Public Health Nurse Melissa Brummell said the Madison County Public Health Department (MCPHD) is on the verge of being overwhelmed. “This is about the majority we can handle and do a good job at it,” she said of the current caseloads.

MCPHD is aware that individuals are still choosing to gather in groups and Brummell emphasized again that mask wearing, social distancing and limiting group sizes works to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Brummell understands that people are tired of hearing the same encouragement but urged residents to remain vigilant in their efforts to protect their communities.

Additionally, if the spread were to slow, MCPHD would have more time and resources to spend on a vaccination program for the county.

For now, county health is working with local hospitals to provide vaccines. With the uptick in cases, county health staff are busy working on contact tracing for positive cases and trying to slow the spread.

“The vaccine takes about two weeks after that (initial) dose to be about 50% effective,” Brummell said, and a couple more weeks after the second dose to reach its full effect. Brummell mentioned those in the public health realm hope the vaccination protects against different strains of the coronavirus, but there is not yet enough data to be certain of the vaccinations’ extent.

She emphasized that mask wearing, hand sanitizing and social distancing must be practiced even after one receives a vaccine.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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