Yellowstone County

Nurses test the public for asymptomatic cases of the COVID-19 illness at a mass surveillance testing event in Crow Agency May 27, 2020.
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Several Montana communities are offering free COVID-19 testing in coming days to check for undetected infections.

The novel coronavirus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Montana health officials announced 80 new cases of the COVID-19 illness July 7, including over 50 cases in Yellowstone County, the majority of which are connected to an assisted living facility in Billings. The new cases break the state’s record for single day total cases reported.

A firework
Piliss/FLICKR (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana officials announced 67 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, breaking the state’s record for the most new cases in a single day. Health officials worry large gatherings for the Fourth of July could accelerate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A map showing the self response rates from households to the 2020 Census by phone, mail or online.
U.S. Census Bureau

Audio Pending...

Just over half of Montana households have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census, according to the state Department of Commerce. The state still trails the national response rate.

Billings, Montana
Ali Eminov / Flickr

A Yellowstone County woman in her 80′s has died of COVID-19, the 17th death in Montana due to the respiratory virus.

County health officials announced the death May 26. According to RiverStone Health, the woman, whose name has not been released, died Monday at a Billings hospital.

She is the third person to die from coronavirus in the county.

Montana's last confirmed COVID-19 death happened on Apr. 28, also in Yellowstone County. There have been no new cases among the more than 3,000 tests run in the five days from May 21 through May 26.

Reopening gyms and fitness studios in a uniform and consistent way has been difficult for public health officials because every facility is different. Now counties are saying the governor’s guidance on reopening doesn’t answer all their questions.

An "Open" sign for a business.
Deb Beatty Mel / Public Domain

Under phase one of Montana’s reopening plan, restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos can open their doors Monday. Counties across the state are taking varying approaches in what’s required for businesses.

Big Sky Economic Development launched a resourceful website for Yellowstone County business owners on Apr. 13, 2020
Big Sky Economic Development / Big Sky Economic Development

Next week a website to help Yellowstone County businesses navigate the financial challenges of the coronavirus outbreak will be up and running with up to date, credible information. 

Coronavirus Report: Billings

Mar 20, 2020

We’ve asked reporters in communities around the state to file stories about how their towns are responding to the emerging presence of coronavirus. We’ll be publishing them in this space as they come in. News is changing fast during this ongoing story. These reports are necessarily snapshots in time. They may become outdated quickly. This piece was reported over the weekend of March 14-15, and published Monday, March 16.

Public Domain / Public Domain

Yellowstone County is preparing new rules for restaurants, bars and casinos to open up to the public again following the health department’s weeklong closure ordered earlier this week. It’s still unclear if or when that might happen amid coronavirus concern.