NPR map not giving accurate account of Granite County bed space


PHILIPSBURG – A recent report from National Public Radio (NPR) indicates that hospital bed space is reaching dangerous levels around the state of Montana.

But it’s inclusion of Granite County among those counties with a bed shortage may be misinterpreting data.

According to Granite County Medical Center (GCMC) CEO Maria Stoppler, the beds in question are filled the majority of the year with long-term care patients. The GCMC has 25 beds available of which 17 are currently filled with long-term care patients. The hospital has a max of 22 patients that it can accept in that capacity.

“Hospital Inpatients have been up and down as usual,” observed Stoppler in an email Tuesday afternoon. “Currently we have one (admission) and another admission expected this week. Long term care admissions have been a bit slow due to the pandemic and with the current outbreak in our and surrounding communities, public focus has been on staying home. I expect increased admissions in long term care when things settle back down.”

According to data from the Granite County Public Health Nurse on its Facebook page, there are currently 19 positive cases the county. There have been 41 total cases of which 22 have recovered resulting in zero deaths. Only three people have been hospitalized in Granite County as a result of COVID-19.

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