“It’s clear that more needs to be done to protect residents not just in our nursing homes but also in our assisted living facilities,” Bullock said in a press conference from the Montana State University campus in Bozeman on Tuesday.
Out of the 217 assisted living facilities in the state, 177 have said they’ll participate in testing, and 107 have completed testing so far.
“Every single assisted living facility should be conducing sentinel testing,” Bullock said. “The purpose of this rule is to help prevent what happened in Canyon Creek moving forward.”
At the end of June, after four months of strict limitations, Bullock opened the door to allow visitation at nursing homes and assisted living centers.
“We went four months where our legacy Montanans in long-term care facilities weren’t even allowed visitors. We did that because these are some of our most vulnerable populations, but there is also the isolation and their emotional health considerations along the way,” Bullock said.
On Tuesday the state again set a record high for the number of coronavirus cases added in a single day, with 80 new cases reported.
Most of the new cases — 55 — were in Yellowstone County and tied to the memory care facility. Other counties reporting new cases Tuesday are Hill County, with five cases; Gallatin, Park and Ravalli each with three cases; Big Horn, Cascade and Madison counties each adding two cases; and Carbon, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Stillwater and Wheatland each adding a case.