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Missoula County notches 25th COVID death
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Missoula County notches 25th COVID death

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Missoula County is projected to spend over $6 million in unbudgeted dollars in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic by the end of 2020. The expense includes payroll for healthcare workers, operations costs for the noncongregate shelter, and the operation of temporary testing facilities at the fairgrounds, among other things. 

A man who was 70 years old or older has died, marking the 25th COVID-19 related death suffered in Missoula County since the beginning of the pandemic, the Missoula City-County Health Department said Thursday. 

Missoula County reported 89 new cases on Thursday, with a total 811 active cases. Forty-four people are hospitalized — 22 county residents and 22 out of county residents — up from 37 on Wednesday. 

By far the largest percentage of deaths in Missoula County has been in the 70-or-older age group with 20 in total. Five people between the ages of 40 and 69 have died. 

The local health department did not release any further information on the man whose death makes 25 in Missoula County. 

Nine new cases in Missoula County are associated with the University of Montana, according to the health department. The university has seen 347 cumulative cases since classes began in the fall. 

The new daily case count has held steady a week after the Missoula City-County Health Department put in place new rules limiting business' capacities to 50%, reducing gathering sizes to 25 people and closing bars at 10 p.m., along other things. 

The changes were made with an aim to keep schools open, maintain hospital capacity, protect essential services and protect the vulnerable, the agency said. 

State officials on Thursday reported 1,013 new cases across Montana, the second-highest new daily case count to date. Three counties reported more than 100 new cases since Wednesday: Cascade County reported 176 new cases, Gallatin County reported 148 and Yellowstone County reported 120.  All three have over 1,000 active cases, according to state officials' tally. 

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