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DPHHS - Central Montana Health District logosFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 11, 2020
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936, (406) 461-3757,  jebelt@mt.gov
                 Julie Rooney, RN, Public Health Nurse, CMHD,  (406) 535-3983, cmhdnurse@co.fergus.mt.us


COVID-19 Related Death Announced at Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center

LEWISTOWN - The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and the Central Montana Health District announced today a Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center (NCC) patient has died due to COVID-19 related illness.

The patient, a resident of Fergus County, passed away on Friday, September 11 at the NCC. This is the first COVID-19 related death at the facility.  

This death will be reflected on the Saturday, September 12 state COVID-19 tracking map.   

To protect the privacy of the deceased and their family and to comply with state and federal law, DPHHS will not release further information. 

“This is a tragic reminder of the impacts COVID-19 is having in our Montana communities,” DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan said. “I extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of this individual. I also appreciate all the ongoing efforts staff at the Nursing Care Center are making to provide high quality care to all patients at this facility and for how they are addressing the challenges this pandemic presents to congregate settings.” 

To date, a total of seven COVID-19 cases have been identified at the NCC. This includes the first three cases that were announced on September 4. Of the total cases, five staff and one resident are considered active.

The NCC is a Medicare and Medicaid-certified residential facility for long-term placement and treatment of persons who have a mental disorder and who require a level of care not available in the community; and have been turned down by other nursing homes or community placements. These persons have been determined a danger to self and others; require long-term care; and cannot benefit from the intensive psychiatric treatment available at the Montana State Hospital. 

It is administered by the DPHHS Addictive and Mental Disorders Division.