A 15th Jefferson County resident has died from COVID, the disease caused by the coronavirus, closely following the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th COVID deaths in the county. The death was the seventh COVID death in the county in just over two months and was the fifth reported in the first nine days of November.
The Jefferson County Health Department announced the 15th death in an email on Nov. 9, one day after announcing the 14th death.
The department did not release any further information about the death, such as the age, gender or vaccination status of the person who died.
Molly Carey, the department's clinic coordinator, told The Monitor after the county's ninth COVID death that "we don’t release any information other than Jefferson County had a COVID-19 related death. This is out of respect to the individual’s loved ones."
The department announced the county's ninth COVID death on Aug. 27. At that time, the county reported 17 active cases and one hospitalization, and an increase of 11 new cases in the preceding three days. The department announced the county's 10th death on Oct. 8, at which time the county reported 76 active cases, four hospitalizations and 51 new cases since three days prior.
The department announced the 11th and 12th deaths earlier last week, on Nov. 1.
On Monday, the department reported 37 active cases, four hospitalizations and 29 new cases since Nov. 8.
The county saw its first COVID death on Nov. 30, 2020.
Jefferson County, Montana and the United States have experienced a surge in coronavirus infections and COVID deaths beginning mid-summer and continuing through the early fall, driven primarily by infections and deaths among the unvaccinated, though case numbers in Jefferson County and Montana have trended downward in recent weeks. Trends in COVID deaths generally lag behind trends in the number of new infections. The surge in cases and deaths has lopsidedly affected areas with lower vaccination rates, including many rural areas of the nation.