BILLINGS – U.S. Senator Steve Daines on Friday urged Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield to deploy medical personnel in Yellowstone County to provide contact tracing assistance as the county sees a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases, according to a press release.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, Yellowstone County has been one of the hardest hit counties in Montana, reporting the most cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the state due to COVID-19, the press release states. Yellowstone County makes up 22% of all reported positive cases of COVID-19 in Montana as of Oct. 16.
“I write to you today to bring to your attention a request from Yellowstone County, Montana, for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to deploy personnel to provide contact tracing assistance,” Daines said in letter to the CDC. “I respectfully request that the CDC consider Montana’s needs during this public health crisis and promptly accommodate Yellowstone County’s request for assistance. While our local public health leaders are working admirably to combat the spread of this virus, new cases are overwhelming its public health system, and additional support from the CDC to expand capacity for contact tracing would help Yellowstone County quickly identify new cases and break chains of transmission.”
Daines’ effort comes one day after Gov. Steve Bullock held a press conference in Billings to announce new tools to boost enforcement of COVID health orders.