***UPDATED March 25*** County testing negative so far

GMC working to acquire more COVID-19 tests, ventilators, respirator masks
Noah French
Sunday, March 22, 2020
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As Glendive Medical Center announced operational changes this week amid the Coronavirus pandemic, medical center officials are working to acquire resources to assist in dealing with COVID-19 if it becomes present in the community.

Among these resources are tests for COVID-19 and respirators for the use of GMC staff.

According to GMC Director of Quality MJ Marx, the high demand for these two resources requires that GMC uses them prudently.

“The entire nation is in a shortage of testing kits for COVID-19; all facilities are being diligent with who they test,” wrote Marx in an email Thursday.

According to Dawson County Health Department Director Timber Dempewolf, nine tests for COVID-19 had been conducted in Dawson County as of Friday morning, none of which were positive for the virus.

A total of 947 Montana patients had been tested for COVID-19 as of Thursday evening. This num ber does not include any Montanan patients who were tested in other states.

Across the state, 18 people have been shown to carry COVID-19 as of press time.

Marx explained that GMC is following guidelines laid out by the Center for Disease Control and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to conserve tests and ventilators that they do have in stock.

GMC is also working on getting more tests and ventilators in as they become available, with increased manufacturing coming into effect.

Additionally, GMC is accepting donations of respirators from contractors. Thursday, GMC announced that they had received donations of N95 respirator masks from WBI Energy and Thatcher Chemical.

According to the FDA website, these respirators are made to block out 95% of 0.3 micron test particles. The N95 respirators are designed to have a close fit to the users face and their extreme filtration capabilities make them most useful in medical situations.

The donation of these respirators serves to be of great assistance to GMC, considering the high need for medical-grade respirators in treating and dealing with COVID-19, according to information from the medical center.

GMC is accepting donations of N95 masks and hand gel at this time, for more information contact Todd Opp at (406) 939-2225

In support of these donations efforts, local John Deere dealer C&B Operations is working with other John Deere stores in Montana with medical facilities around the state to act as collection sites for N95 respirators.

All donated respirators need to be put in plastic bags before being placed in the drop-off boxes.