Montana Department of Health and Human Services

Nurses administer a nasal swab to test people for the COVID-19 illness at a surveillance testing event in Crow Agency May 27, 2020.
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Last weekend, Montana saw its biggest spike yet in COVID-19 cases. YPR reports how the disease is impacting Native Americans across the state.

Low-Cost Classes Can Help Seniors Stay Fit

Jun 11, 2020
Montana State University Extension Agent Jane Wolery, near right, leads class participants in seated leg lifts at a session of the StrongPeople class last fall in the Choteau Baptist Church fellowship hall.
Vonnie Jacobson/Choteau Acantha


As Montana’s aging population continues to grow (18.9% of Montanans are now 65 or older), rural residents face the same aging challenges as their urban counterparts but often with fewer resources.

Montana families needing a little extra help right with nutrition and food services should not hesitate to apply for the Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, program.

That message from state health department officials, like Jamie Palagi who says the COVID-19 pandemic continues to economically stress many young families.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of vaccines being given to children for diseases like polio and hepatitis B has fallen dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic.

Montana’s public health departments and providers, seeing the same decline, are concerned it could lead to an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease and pull resources away from the COVID-19 response.

State health department officials gave legislators an update Monday on the agency’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials say that response has a lot of moving pieces, but they’re learning fast and keeping pace.

Governor Steve Bullock announced May 6 that $10 million is now available to Montana child care providers funded through the federal CARES Act Child Care & Development Block Grant.

The novel coronavirus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

An estimated 100 to 200 nurses in Montana are tracing contacts of lab confirmed COVID-19 patients in an effort to contain the novel coronavirus.

It’s been six weeks since the coronavirus pandemic shifted Montana’s public school districts to remote and online learning, and some school counselors are struggling to check in with students. Counselors say the lack of daily face-to-face interactions may prevent some from getting the help they need.

Calls to the state child abuse and neglect hotline have dropped by about half since schools closed their doors in mid-March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services said the hotline received a little over half of the roughly 760 weekly calls it normally received before schools were ordered on March 15 to close their doors.

The state health department is expanding hours and staffing of phone lines for mental health therapy and suicide prevention. This comes amid a surge of requests from Montanans seeking emotional support during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

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