MISSOULA – Like the new one The BA.2 COVID-19 variant continues to circulate local health departments are keeping an eye on the numbers in anticipation of the next increase.
Missoula County Health Officer D’Shane Barnett told MTN News that his department is concerned about the increase because they know it will reach Missoula within a week or two.
The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) department may be concerned at the moment, but they are not panicking, according to Barnett.
MCCHD looks at key indicators when assessing the severity of the upcoming COVID-19 increase.
Average daily new cases per. 1,000 people recently reached 11compared to three daily new cases per 1,000 people last week.
Given the county’s wastewater, officials have seen a 325% increase in traceable COVID-19 over the past two weeks.
While BA.2 has already been detected in Missoula County, Barnett says the likelihood of serious illness or hospitalization from the variant is extremely low.
The MCCHD reported on Wednesday that there were no local COVID-19 related hospitalizations.
“We’ve been working with providers throughout the county, and we’re convinced that in Missoula County there are tests available, there are vaccines available, there are therapeutic agents available. We have the tools and resources to get through this wave, and we are convinced that we will succeed. We just have to take responsibility. ” – Missoula County Health Officer D’shane Barnett
Part of Barnett’s call for responsibility includes masking despite recent mask mandate relaxation. He recommends wearing a face shield in crowded places.
The latest Missoula County COVID-19 vaccine information can be found online or by calling 406-258-4636.