Local health officials say thanks and keep it up

Thursday, May 21, 2020
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Stillwater Billings Community Nurse Natasha Sailer, Dr. Cody White and county Sanitarian Josh Juarez have spent the last several weeks tirelessly working to help Stillwater County citizens be as safe and informed as possible.

Now just two weeks away from entering Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan and with just one confirmed case of COVID-19, the team is thankful.

“We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and work to keep others safe,” said Sailer this week.

More of the same is being asked for the coming weeks and months.

“Continue to socially distance as best as possible, stay home when you are sick, don’t touch your face, and wash those hands,” said Sailer. “As the restrictions are lifted, it doesn’t mean that we are out of the way of potential infection or virus spread. The virus is still here. We have to work hard at continuing with the strategies we have been performing over the past few months.”

Sailer also said that both Beartooth Manor and Meadowlark Assisted Living Facility in Columbus will be participating in the Long Term Care Sentinel testing. Sentinel testing is testing a group of the population that is not displaying any symptoms to see if there are any cases that are not being caught due to a lack symptoms. Then random samples are done later on those same groups to see if there have been any changes.

Sailer said those sentinel tests are expected to go out this week.

Overall, testing has increased in Stillwater County in the past few weeks, per the governor’s stepped up protocol.

“We have seen an increase of about 50 to 60 test results coming back to us per week. That brings the county average to roughly 95 people per week being screened,” said Sailor. “We expect this to increase as the availability of tests continue to come out and then the increased return of outpatient surgical procedures to rise.”