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10 infected, 3 hospitalized in Columbus helped live COVID-19 epidemic

COLUMBUS – A total of 10 cases of COVID-19 have been found at the Meadowlark housing facility in Columbus, according to a press release from Tuesday’s Public Health County.

Four residents and six employees at the Meadowlark facility have been positive for the past week, said Michael White, co-owner of the facility’s parent company, over the phone.

Three residents were hospitalized.

White said the first case was found in a resident who traveled to Billings Hospital on Sept. 22 for ankle pain, White said. The resident was tested for COVID-1

9 in the hospital as part of regular procedures.

On the same day, all 11 Meadowlark employees were tested as part of state rules that require weekly testing of care workers. On September 25, the six employees returned positive and the tests were given to all residents and employees, White said.

The facility will not allow quarantine visitors and contact tracking protocols. White said residents are currently locked in their rooms. Restrictions on visits will be lifted when the facility has two consecutive weeks without positive tests for COVID-19, White said.

Meadowlark employees have followed and continue to follow all state and national protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, White said.

“The state requires assisted housing to isolate residents who have tested positive and to quarantine residents who have been exposed to the virus, even if they have tested negative,” the statement said.

Stillwater County Public Health reports that all residents and workers have been notified of the test results.

The Meadowlark Life Support Facility is operated by Montana-based Caslen Living Centers, Inc. The company operates six life support facilities across the country, according to its website.

As of Tuesday, Stillwater County has 31 active cases of COVID-19, leading to a total of 76 confirmed cases. Two county residents have died from the virus.

Stillwater County residents with questions about COVID-19 were asked to call the local public health line at 406-322-1070. The Stillwater County COVID-19 response website can be accessed by clicking here.

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