COVID-19

Montana to invest $5.5M of ARPA funds to help healthcare workers with child care

BY: - December 7, 2021

Montana is investing $5.5 million of federal pandemic funds to help cover licensed child care costs over the next year for the state’s healthcare workers, Gov. Greg Gianforte and the Department of Public Health and Human Services announced in a press release on Monday. But one longtime child care advocate and lawmaker said the money […]

Sidney Health Center vaccine mandate protest meeting draws around 50 SHC employees

BY: - December 1, 2021

Around 50 healthcare workers from the Sidney Health Center gathered at Fellowship Baptist Church on Monday night to hear from state leaders like Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Hamilton Sen. Theresa Manzella speak against the hospital’s decision to follow a federal vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, which a federal judge has temporarily struck down. “It […]

Omicron variant: What you need to know about the latest strain

BY: - December 1, 2021

Americans, already weary of a pandemic nearly two years long, were dealt a new blow during the long Thanksgiving weekend: the announcement that a new coronavirus variant had emerged. The omicron variant, officially known as B.1.1.529, surfaced in November in several southern African nations. It set off alarm bells worldwide when public health officials in […]

Montana ramps up sequencing efforts to monitor for new omicron variant

BY: - December 1, 2021

The state health department and its partners have increased their capacity to conduct sequencing of COVID-19 samples in an effort to monitor for the new omicron variant as it continues to pop in various countries around the world, including Wednesday’s report that it’s in America. “As a new variant emerges, we want to double or […]

Knudsen, Manzella to speak at anti-vaccine-mandate event in Sidney on Monday night

BY: - November 29, 2021

Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Hamilton Sen. Theresa Manzella will be among those to speak at an event in Sidney on Monday night pushing back on the Sidney Health Center’s recent decision to follow a federal vaccine mandate that requires all hospitals receiving federal Medicaid or Medicare funds to vaccinate their employees. According to Jordan […]

Meeting to protest Sidney Health Center vaccine mandate compliance to be held Monday

BY: - November 24, 2021

The Montana Daily Gazette and the political group Conservatives United for Richland County have had a hand in organizing and promoting a private event on Monday that will focus on teaching Sidney Health Center employees how to challenge the hospital’s decision to comply with a federal vaccine mandate necessary to keep Medicaid and Medicare funding. […]

St. Peter’s responds to special counsel report, stands by claims of threats from state officials

BY: - November 24, 2021

St. Peter’s Health in Helena responded Wednesday to the release of a legislative report this week about a dispute between the hospital and several state officials arising from an allegation of patient mistreatment, reasserting claims it first made in October that “providers and care team members were threatened and harassed when they refused to administer […]

‘My patience is almost gone’: AG threatened to file charges in St. Peter’s dispute

BY: - November 23, 2021

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and his top deputy warned St. Peter’s Health in Helena of possible legal action arising from claims of mistreatment made by a COVID-19 patient’s family in October, including that the hospital was not administering a pair of unapproved treatments for the virus prescribed by an outside doctor, according to a […]

New report highlights nursing workforce shortage in the state

BY: - November 20, 2021

A new report on the status of nursing in Montana highlights the increased demand for nurses in the state, an industry that has become more strained than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Montana’s healthcare system relies on a highly-skilled nursing workforce. Increased retirements from an aging population combined with increased demand on the healthcare system […]

Gianforte asks for more flexibility to spend fed rental assistance funds

BY: - November 16, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte wrote to Montana’s congressional delegation on Tuesday requesting greater flexibility from the federal government in how the state can administer emergency rental assistance funds, a pot of money designed to stave off evictions and COVID-19 related economic hardship that many smaller states have struggled to adequately spend. Montana, along with dozens of […]

Montana could lose $20 million in emergency rental funds next week

BY: - November 12, 2021

Montana could lose a chunk of its federal Emergency Rental Assistance funds next week due to October guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury that sets minimum expenditure and obligation ratios for states in an effort to speed up the rate of disbursement. The guidance says states that haven’t obligated 65% of the first round […]

Montana Nurses Association said it’s shut out by Gianforte

BY: - November 10, 2021

Over the last three months, as the coronavirus has continued to cripple the state, the Montana Nurses Association said it has tried eight times to schedule a meeting with Gov. Greg Gianforte to address the need for more support for nurses on the front lines. “We should be at the table; it breaks my heart. […]