Missoula County saw its first COVID death of a young adult in the 20-39 age range, according to a health department news release Friday afternoon.
Missoula County reported 114 new cases on Friday and has 852 active cases.
There are 40 hospitalizations due to COVID in the county — 28 of whom are Missoula County residents. The county has reported 112 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.
“We know that the delta variant is a game-changer. Our hearts go out to the family of this individual, and to everyone who has lost someone they love due to COVID," Missoula County Health Officer D’Shane Barnett said in a statement.
"We know we have a long way to go in fighting this virus, but the health department will continue to do everything we can to provide our community with the knowledge and resources to get us through this."
The release said that for privacy reasons the health department would not release the individual's vaccination or health status.
County health officials are continuing to urge residents to mask in public spaces, maintain social distance and use hygienic measures such as washing hands. Vaccination against the disease remains the best defense against COVID, they say.
Nearly 21% of the current cases are those within the 20-29 age range, which represents the majority of active cases.
Of eligible county residents, 68.74% have received at least a first dose of the vaccine and 55.5% of Missoula County's total population is fully vaccinated against COVID.
Jordan Hansen covers news and local government for the Missoulian. Shout at him on Twitter @jordyhansen or send him an email at Jordan.Hansen@Missoulian.com