Common Questions About Coronavirus

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus strain that began its spread in December 2019. Little is known about this virus and it has the potential to cause severe respiratory illness in some people.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

The CDC recommends that people should wear a cloth face covering in public places. Surgical masks and N95’s are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers and first-responders. Cloth face coverings can be made out of a variety of common household items. For instructions on how to make a cloth face covering, visit

Visit the DPHHS website for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 testing results in Montana.

If you are traveling, please follow the CDC’s guidance:

Steps you can take to prevent the flu and the common cold will also help to prevent coronavirus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water.

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap is not available.

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

There are currently no approved medications to treat COVID-19. Most people with mild illness will recover on their own by drinking fluids, resting, and taking fever and pain medication. Some severe cases of COVID-19 may develop in pneumonia, which requires additional medical care or hospitalization.

Call your healthcare provider if you feel sick with cough, fever, or difficulty breathing AND:

  • You have traveled from an area with community spread of COVID-19 in the 14 days before your illness began

  •      OR

  • You have been identified as a recent close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case

Your healthcare professional will work with the health department and CDC officials to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

If you have been in close contact with a person who develops COVID-19, or have recently traveled to an area with cases of COVID-19, and you start to develop symptoms of respiratory illness, please call ahead to a health professional. Your provider will work with the CDC and health department to determine the need for testing as well as the best course of action.

You may also call the Kalispell Regional Healthcare 24-hour Line and speak with a registered nurse at 406-890-7272

Please remember, as with many respiratory illnesses, if you feel unwell please stay away from others as much as possible to prevent the spread of infection. Wash your hands often, limit contact with people and animals, and follow guidance from your healthcare providers.

There is still a lot we do not know about COVID-19 transmissibility. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the CDC Website. 

No. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause cold-like symptoms in humans. Others cause illness in animals such as bats, camels, or cattle. It is rare for animal coronaviruses to spread to people. This is what happened with other well known coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. There are active and ongoing investigations to learn more about the disease and information will be updated as it becomes available.

It is currently unknown whether weather or temperature affect the spread of COVID-19. The CDC has active investigations into COVID-19 to learn more about transmissibility, severity, and other features.

If you have any additional questions or concerns call 751-8110 and ask to speak with a public health nurse.