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Gov. Steve Bullock’s response to the pandemic has helped raise his profile as he challenges incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines. But it also complicates the campaign as the state sees a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and voters question some of the governor’s actions.
With COVID-19 tests bogged down in backlogs, some states that relied on private laboratories, such as Quest Diagnostics, are trying to adapt as caseloads rise.
Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes initially opposed the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede this year, worrying about hundreds of people coming to their reservation for the rodeo amid coronavirus concerns. But the annual event was on private land and went ahead, highlighting the reopening tensions between resuming normal economic activities and protecting the vulnerable.
Some of Montana’s Native American nations are holding firm on coronavirus protections even as the rest of Montana reopens. They’ve got more at stake, they say, in protecting their elders who preserve their endangered culture.
As an electron microscopist at the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, Elizabeth Fischer has captured stunning images of emerging pathogens such as Ebola, the MERS coronavirus and now SARS-CoV-2.
A rural Montana county of 5,000 people lays claim to the state’s highest COVID-19 infection rate. The community risks additional spread, though, because of a private prison situated there. If the virus infiltrates the prison and just a fraction of inmates get sick, the area’s limited health resources may not endure.
The Indian Health Service hospital at Montana’s Fort Belknap reservation has put out a call for applicants for two traditional practitioner positions, part of a new recognition of Native American ethnobotany expertise that was pushed underground for decades. The openings are already making waves in the state.
In one conservative pocket of Montana, a local health board member who opposes vaccinations helped fight the state’s stay-at-home rules. But now, as the state slowly reopens, she faces a backlash of her own.
Facing GOP pressure to install work requirements for adults getting Medicaid coverage, some states seek instead to offer more opportunities for job training.
After reporting by KHN, NPR and CBS, Fresenius has agreed to waive a Montana man’s huge bill for out-of-network dialysis care.