Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Fire Chief Dave Lane
Seeley Lake Volunteer Fire Department 

Slow the spread, protect each other from coronavirus


As the world contends with “the invisible war” we should all become aware of the situation so that we may all help to slow and protect each other from the spread of this dangerous disease.

Influenza and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), as well as colds, tuberculosis and other transmittable respiratory illnesses, are spread via droplet transmission and may be a significant threat to fire and emergency and other first responder professionals’ safety. Corona viruses are a group of viruses belonging to the family of Corona viridae that infects both animals and humans.

Human coronaviruses can cause a mild disease like the common cold, while others cause more severe disease, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A new coronavirus, COVID-19, previously not identified in humans emerged in the Wuhan Province of China in December 2019.

Fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers and other first responder agencies play a vital role in responding to requests for assistance, triaging patients, and providing emergency medical treatment and transport for ill persons. However, unlike patient care in the controlled environment of a healthcare facility, care and transports by EMS providers present unique challenges because of the nature of the setting, frequent need for rapid medical decision-making, interventions with limited information, and a varying range of patient acuity and jurisdictional healthcare policies/protocols and resources.

The Seeley Lake Rural Fire District along with many departments across the country has expanded our exposure control plan to further protect our members and provide guidance for our responders to safely provide Emergency Services to our community.

Standard recommendations for everyone to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include:

• Frequent cleaning of hands using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

• Covering the nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or disposable tissue when coughing and sneezing.

• Avoiding close contact with anyone that has a fever and cough.

• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), regular workplace facility cleaning, equipment decontamination procedures, and thorough personal hygiene practices provide the best methods for reducing the risk of exposure.

The state of Montana reported three new cases of coronavirus on Monday June 8, 2020, two of which are in Gallatin County and one in Stillwater County, and Big Horn County Public Health Department reported two new cases.

The Gallatin County cases are listed as a man in his 40s and a man in his 20s. The Stillwater case is listed as a boy under the age of 19.

The Big Horn County cases are listed as two men in their 60s. The Big Horn County Health Department, which updates COVID-19 information at times that differ from the state, reported they have had two more recoveries and three hospitalizations from the virus.

The state lists two active hospitalizations, and 475 people are listed as recovered. There are 55 active cases in the state.

The state has administered 51,592 tests, which is 4,214 more than Sunday June 7, 2020.

In response to the growing threat of COVID-19, the State is offering all coronavirus-related content free as a public service.

Gallatin County has had 164 total confirmed cases, 11 of which are considered active. Stillwater County has had two total cases, and one is active.

No new cases were reported in Cascade County, which has had 17 cases since the disease began showing up in the state in March.

Statewide, 18 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. The latest death from COVID-19 was listed as a man in his 60s in Big Horn County.

The state updates information at 10 a.m. daily at

Even as Montana has progressed into Phase Two of our economic restart, people should continue practicing social distancing, wearing cloth masks in public, working remotely (when possible) and staying home if they feel sick.


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