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Helena Officials Report ‘Unprecedented’ Rise In COVID-19 Detected In Wastewater

August 10, 2021
https://www.mtpr.org/montana-news/2021-08-09/helena-officials-report-unprecedented-rise-in-covid-19-detected-in-wastewater

Lewis and Clark County Public Health is reporting an 1,100 percent increase over the last week in the amount of COVID-19 detected in the city of Helena’s wastewater.

County health officials say the results of the wastewater testing conducted last Thursday indicate that Helena is seeing widespread community transmission of the virus.

According to the county, the concentration of COVID-19 in the city’s wastewater is three times higher than the previous record high, which occurred in December. The county saw its highest number of daily cases during that time.

Katie Gallagher, communications manager for St. Peter’s Health, says the local hospital is preparing for another surge in hospitalizations.

“The number one thing that we’re concerned about right now is staffing for a potential surge. Hospitals across the state are extremely tight staffed right now and you have to staff a critical care bed with a critical care nurse.”

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