At least 10 residents test positive, three currently hospitalized
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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At least 10 residents and staff members of the Meadowlark Assisted Living facility in Columbus have tested positive for COVID-19.

Three residents are hospitalized — one in Stillwater County and two outside the county.

The announcement was first made at a Stillwater County Commission meeting this morning, which was followed by a press release from public health officials.

Positive cases were first confirmed at the facility on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Caslen Living Centers owns the Meadowlark facility.

All Meadowlark residents and workers have been notified of the positive results. The state requires assisted living facilities to isolate residents who have tested positive and to quarantine residents who have been exposed to the virus, even if they have tested negative, according to the release.

Per quarantine and contact tracing protocols, the facility is not allowing visitors.

“Maintaining the health and safety of vulnerable populationS, as well as our community has been our highest priority,” said Stillwater County Public Health Officer Dr. Cody White in the press release. “The Caslen Living Centers’ Meadowlark facility is one of several assisted living residences in the state reporting illness in residents and/or employees.”

The outbreak pushes the county’s active case count to 31. There have now been 76 total cases in the county, including two deaths.

Public health officials are asking Stillwater residents to continue following guidelines to prevent further spread of the virus and to help protect vulnerable citizens, including:

-Wearing a mask in public when social distancing is not possible.

-Washing your hands with soap and water frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

-Social distance whenever possible.

-Stay home when sick.

A public health hotline has been established at (406) 322-1070 for anyone with questions or concerns about COVID-19.



Those in assisted living centers and nursing homes were the first group of people identified as being the most likely to suffer serious medical issues and die from the COVID-19 virus. Because of this, Gov. Steve Bullock ordered all such facilities in the state locked down in March, as a meanS of protecting the most vulnerable population. 

That lockdown remains in effect and will only be lifted when the state enters Phase 3 reopening. Montana is currently in Phase 2 of the reopening plan and has been since June.



Caslen Living Centers Inc. owns and operates the Meadowlark Assisted Living Facility.

The facility has been in existence for approximately 13 years and offers 19 units that are a combination of efficiency and one-bedroom apartments, as well as four retirement units.