Another challenging day in the COVID-19 pandemic with 224 new cases confirmed in Montana, and a surge in British Columbia prompting tighter restrictions in bars and eating establishments.
The latest new case count in Montana was 79 more than the previous record daily total of 145 set July 14.
One of the new cases came in Lincoln County on Friday, a young man under 19 years of age who is symptomatic after coming into contact with another person with COVID-19.
The new cases bring Montana's total count to 3,260.
Of those, 1,977 patients have recovered, 1,237 have active cases with 59 Montanans currently hospitalized and 46 dead.
Idaho does not update its COVID-19 website on weekends.
Creston officials on Friday urged residents to continue following the recommendations of Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry as the number of cases in British Columbia have begun trending upward, with 27 new cases reported in the 24-hours ending at 4:30 p.m. Friday, bringing the total case count to 3,419.
Four of the new cases are residents of the Interior Health District.
Three British Columbians among the 12 currently hospitalized with the illness, 2,934 have recovered and 191 have died of novel coronavirus infection.
Recognizing the risks within bars and nightclubs and the recent links to exposure in these locations, Dr. Henry's "Order to Food Service Establishments, Liquor Services and Events" was amended Friday requiring, among other things, that all patrons in affected establishments must now be seated at a designated seat, there is no liquor self-service or dancing, and measures to reduce lineups and gathering outside are now required.
Changes in the requirements of events have also been made to further reduce the potential for transmission.
The amended order can be found here. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-nightclubs-food-drink.pdf
The Provincial state of emergency has been extended to the end of the day on Tuesday, August 4, allowing the province to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The state of emergency will be in effect for 14 days, but may be extended or rescinded as necessary.
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine COVID-19 Dashboard reports as of 11:41 a.m. Eastern today that 4,148,705 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, with 146,073 dead.
Canada has had 115,400 confirmed cases and 8,927 deaths.
Worldwide, Johns Hopkins reports 15,822,814 COVID-19 cases and 641,273 deaths in 188 of the world's 196 countries.
On July 19, there were no reported cases in a dozen countries; North Korea, Turkmenistan, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and Nauru, all having locked their borders and reported to have taken stringent measures to control the spread of novel coronavirus.
Many, however, question the veracity of the North Korea and Turkmenistan reports.
At 2:18 p.m. Central European Summer Time, the World Health Organization listed 15,581,009 global cases and 635,173 deaths.