Teton County Health Department Director Melissa Moyer on Thursday said the 15 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed on Wednesday are not related to any one event and are spread throughout the county. The Choteau and Fairfield areas are seeing more cases than the Power or Dutton areas, she added.

The 15 positive tests generally came from two different groups of people, she said: part of them were from people who had been in close contact with another positive person while the other part were just people who came down with symptoms and saw their healthcare providers.

As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, when Moyer released her daily COVID-19 update, the county had 29 active cases and has had three deaths out of 155 total confirmed cases of the viral illness. The county has a population of about 6,147, according to U.S. Census information.

The demographics of the 15 new cases on Wednesday included six females, one ages 10-19, one 30-39 and two each 50-59 and 60-69; and nine males, three ages 10-19, one 40-49, four 50-59 and one 70-79.

Choteau Public Schools Superintendent Chuck Gameon on Thursday confirmed that COVID-19 has caused the quarantine of some members of the Choteau junior high boys basketball team and the team will not hold any more practices until after the Thanksgiving break. He said the quarantine is not related to any travel to tournaments as there are no junior high tournaments being held during the regular season. Gameon also said that one new class in the school system has been put in quarantine and will be distance learning until Nov. 27. They will return to the school building on Nov. 30, following the Thanksgiving break.

Gameon said school is likely the safest place for children to be because of all the precautions and safety measures being taken. As of Thursday, he said, the school is going on in-person as planned.

Choteau Mayor Chris Hindoien also announced at the Nov. 17 meeting of the City Council that one Public Works crew member, who tested positive for COVID-19, has completed his recovery and will return to work on Nov. 23, but another Public Works crew member has also tested positive and will be out for about two weeks. From now on, he said, all public works employees will travel to work sites in separate vehicles. The absences are being covered in-house and city services are not being affected, he said.