An 80-year old woman died of complications due to COVID-19 in a Yellowstone County hospital yesterday (Monday 5/25), according to a press release from RiverStone Health.

The woman's name and hospital where she died wasn't provided in the press release, and RiverStone Health says no further information about the death will be provided "to protect the privacy of the individual and family members."

We extend our heartfelt sympathies to this woman’s family and friends. This death serves as a very unfortunate reminder about the seriousness of this pandemic. Our most vulnerable community members – elderly, immunocompromised, and those with chronic conditions – are especially at risk and we must continue to take measures to protect them from this disease. - John Felton, Yellowstone County Health Officer.

88 Yellowstone County residents have been infected with COVID-19 as of today (5/26), according to the press release. 17 Montanans have died from COVID-19.

Last week, the Yellowstone County Unified Health Command released recommendations that encourage Montana employers to implement policies and structures that keep their workforce safe as the state enters Phase 2.

In the press release. some of the recommendations made by the U.H.C. included having employers stagger work shifts, continue working remotely, and close common areas when social distancing cannot be maintained.

While a negative COVID-19 test is not a requirement for employees returning to work, employers are encouraged to be diligent about monitoring their workforce for symptoms. -Unified Health Command

Here is the complete list of recommendations from Unified Health Command for Montana employers:

  • Continue staff teleworking where possible.
  • Consider alternative schedules, staggering shifts.
  • Develop and conduct health screenings of all employees at the beginning of each shift
  • Monitor employees for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
  • Do not allow ill employees to come to work; have them contact their healthcare provider if they have a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Close common areas where employees congregate if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Consider providing employees with a cloth facemask if they are working in close contact with others for a prolonged time.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and high-traffic areas often.
  • Minimize non-essential staff travel

Governor Bullock announced that Montana will enter Phase 2 of reopening beginning on June 1. This allows restaurants, bars, casinos, and similar establishments to serve up to 75 percent of capacity. The two-week quarantine for out-of-state visitors will end, and the Montana entrances to Yellowstone National Park will open with Phase 2.