The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Jefferson County -- a man in his 50s -- was announced Tuesday afternoon.

“The person has been notified and the investigation is initiated,” states a post to the Jefferson County Health Department Facebook page.

The man contracted the disease in Montana and was not hospitalized, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor Karen Wandel said by email Wednesday morning.

Where the man resides in Jefferson County is being withheld to protect his privacy.

“While the county has about 12K [people], the individual communities are small,” Wandel wrote. “We are limited to what we can share information wise. Patient privacy is of importance in times like these.”

The man was the first of 12 county residents known to have been tested for COVID-19 to test positive, but Wandel wrote that other residents might have been tested.

“It’s likely that several more have been tested through clinics or urgent care settings outside Jefferson County that we are unaware of,” she explained. “Each county health department has worked with the healthcare providers in their county to set up a system of reporting who they have tested that day in their clinic/hospital. However, the demographic data (county of residence) is not always included in that reporting to the county.”

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, 53 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Montana out of 2001 people tested. Gallatin County’s 19 reported cases were the highest in the state.

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