Gallatin County's positive cases are on the rise. West Yellowstone, Big Sky and the Gallatin Valley are all affected. At least 180 people are quarantined because they were a close contact of a recent positive case.

As of this typing, there are approximately 50 current positive cases in Gallatin County. These cases have been determined to be a mix of travel related, contact to known cases and community spread.

This holiday weekend is especially concerning, as folks gather in groups. Group settings are the most worrisome according to the Gallatin City-County Health Department.

Did you know a "Close Contact" is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of another person for at least 15 minutes? Please, please, please practice social distancing this holiday weekend.

Avoid the big hugs and just throw a water balloon at your friend and call that a sign of love.

Recommendations from the Gallatin City-County Health Department:

● Remind guests to stay home if they are sick. Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contact tracing needs.

● Plan for social distancing. Host your gatherings outside when possible. If not, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated and indoor time is brief. And if you’re planning activities for adults and/or kids, consider choosing activities where social distancing can be maintained.

● Wear face coverings when less than 6 feet apart from people or when indoors.

● Clean your hands often. Consider providing hand sanitizer to your guests, in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.

● Limit the number of people handling or serving food. Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks. If serving food, consider having one person serve all food to ensure multiple people aren’t handling serving utensils.

● Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items. And clean and disinfect those surfaces and items between uses when feasible.

photo - Michelle Wolfe