Another jam packed edition of COVID-19 tips for all of Gallatin County. A lesson on social distancing and how you can help the most vulnerable in our community.

Daily Update / Tip:
The latest information on the healthygallatin.org website indicates that AS OF MARCH 23rd, there have been 16 diagnosed COVID-19 cases attributed to Gallatin County. How many more will there be? To a large extent, that’s up to us – to you and me. If we take our “social distancing” or “physical distancing” roles seriously, we can slow the spread within our community so it doesn’t overwhelm the healthcare capacity of our local community. When we talk about “flattening the curve” we’re talking about reducing the surge of cases that will hit our local facilities at once. Think of the situation like waves approaching the shore. We’d rather have a series of smaller waves hitting the shore less frequently than have a large tidal wave suddenly crash on shore. The difference between the two wave patterns is our ability as a community to slow the rate of infection by staying home and limiting interactions with one another. Our healthcare institutions are ramping up their capacity to deal with an influx of cases, but getting the systems, equipment, and personnel in place takes time. To use our wave analogy, by keeping the tidal wave at bay, we’re giving them extra time to get the sandbags in place and scout out higher ground.

FAQ:
Q: I’m young, fit and healthy – and so are my friends. Why should I participate in social distancing if I’m not in a high-risk group?
A: According to CDC data, nearly 40% of Covid-19 patients sick enough to be hospitalized are ages 20-54. Also, in a “community spread” scenario such as the one we’re experiencing in the Gallatin Valley, the virus can quickly spread outside of your immediate circle of friends to parents, grandparents and the immune-compromised
members of our community.

Pulling Together:
Firehouse Subs’ Bozeman location is working with the Salvation Army to provide 50 meals a day to those in most need in our community. There are two ways you can help out with their efforts. 1) They could use donations of granola bars, chips and apples to round out their free meals. 2) You can buy additional lunches for those in need. Call Jeff Catron at 551-1144 to learn more. Food donations can be made at Firehouse Subs at the Bozeman Gateway Center, or at the Salvation Army.

What Can I Do?
Please pay attention to advice from Bridger Bowl and Friends of Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center when they advise those visiting the ski hill post-closure to: Please do not carpool with people outside your household; be diligent about social distancing in parking lots and along trails; don’t have social gatherings in the parking lot. Remember, Bridger Bowl’s base area is private property