Montana’s attractions, like those in the park, have become symbols of the city’s beauty in recent years, but they have also become a breeding ground for the spread of diseases.
A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that more than 4,300 people in Montana are infected with the coronavirus.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The CDC’s website lists “hot spots” where the virus is “active,” where infected people congregate and where there is a high chance of transmission.
The list also includes a “disease map” for the park that shows “hot zones” in the city, which is just as useful as the map.
The maps are also a valuable resource for the public, who are often left to wonder whether they are the ones who are infected.
“It’s a scary time for the health of the population, and a really important time for us to have a clear picture of the disease and the outbreaks,” said Kristin Bierut, a researcher with the CDC’s Montana Division.
Bieruts study focuses on people from the same communities in the state that she lives in.
“We can see the spread patterns of infection, the people who are more susceptible to infection and we can see how people are interacting,” she said.
Biersut’s study is based on the CDC data that is available on the site.
“The CDC data doesn’t include Montana.
It doesn’t even have a list of Montana attractions,” she told VICE News.
“But I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t exist.”
According to Bierots findings, the population in Montanas hot spots is not representative of the entire state.
The data doesn, however, show that people in the area have more contact with the virus than people in other states.
“That is an indication that we’ve gotten our act together, but we need to get this disease under control,” Bierutes study author Sarah Karp told VICE.
“If we can’t control this disease in this state, we can control it elsewhere.”
The CDC recommends that visitors stay at least 60 miles (97 kilometers) away from infected areas.
People with a history of contact with people who have tested positive for the virus, such as a family member or close friend, should be screened at least twice a year.
But if you’re a tourist or visitor from the United States, it’s a different story.
Karp said the CDC doesn’t have a way to monitor visitors from other states in order to see if they have a higher risk of contracting the virus.
“They’re not doing that,” she noted.
“I think the real test is to have someone who has been to that place who’s been in the same place as you.”
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in July released an update to its coronaviruses guidance for visitors to Montana, which was based on an analysis of data from the CDC and a review of the state’s data.
It recommends that people who live in Montans hot spots get tested more often and report any symptoms they might have to the health care provider within 48 hours of them returning home.
It also recommends that they stay away from areas that are more likely to be frequented by people who were infected and stay away for a minimum of four days before returning.
“This is a good place to start, because it’s not just a hot spot,” said Bierats study co-author David J. Krieg, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Public Health.
“There are other hot spots, and we don’t know why.”
Krieg said he had been worried about the outbreak in Montanans hot spot because of the way people congregated there, but that the CDC did a good job of explaining the risk of transmission and what precautions people should take.
The researchers are hoping that the update to the CDC guidelines will encourage visitors to be more vigilant in avoiding any contact with those with a high risk of infection.
“Hopefully the recommendations will help in that effort,” Krieg told VICE on the phone from Washington, D.C., where he was attending a conference.
“People can be very scared and be really worried and not want to do anything.”
Biers study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Public Health Infectious Diseases.