As coronavirus cases surge, state officials can’t afford to wait for a new president to take office before taking action. But some governors’ initiatives seem to be little more than policy tweaks or symbolic gestures.
Montana is seeking penalties against some businesses that violated its mask and social distancing directives, after months of reluctance to enforce COVID restrictions. Meanwhile, cities, counties and tribal nations still struggle to get people to mask up and avoid crowds.
COVID-19 infections and quarantines are pulling health professionals off the front lines, exacerbating staffing woes that existed in large, rural states well before the pandemic.
As the pandemic continues to cast shadows on everyday life, some candidates for governor are talking about everything except the specifics of how they would manage COVID-19 into the future.
Residents of a small Montana community exposed to decades of asbestos contamination are taking extra precautions to keep COVID-19 away.
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
Montana’s Matt Rosendale and many other Republican congressional candidates face the challenge of convincing voters they support safeguards on preexisting conditions even as they oppose the Affordable Care Act, which codifies those safeguards.
When in public, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence join crowded rallies where many do not wear masks. Behind the scenes, the White House is recommending states adopt mask mandates and even fines — leaving it up to local officials to handle the consequences.
Montana sheriffs say the state’s decision to halt prison transfers has led to overcrowding that makes it difficult to quarantine inmates and clean facilities.
The threat of COVID-19 forced many county fairs to cancel this year. But some rural communities that depend on the annual economic and cultural boost decided to go ahead despite a pattern of outbreaks.
Tribal leaders have worked to keep the coronavirus off their reservations because of its deadly impact on Native populations. But careful avoidance of the COVID virus has handcuffed the tribes as they face a devastating fire season.
As fires burn longer and closer to cities throughout the West, researchers are trying to understand the lasting health impacts by studying a Montana town previously smothered by wildfire smoke.
A KHN review found more than 20 states either don’t count or have incomplete data on the use of COVID-19 antigen tests, leaving the public in the dark about the true scope of the pandemic.
As people leave COVID-stricken cities to settle semi-permanently in vacation communities, locals assess how these new residents are changing demands on medical services.
Once there were 23 of these nonprofit plans across 26 states; in January there will be only three, serving Maine, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
Voters in Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and several other conservative-leaning states will decide in November whether to legalize medical or recreational marijuana.
Efforts are underway to bring to market a vaccine for valley fever, a fungal infection with COVID-like symptoms that occurs in the deserts of the Southwest. The illness is getting more attention as cases rise and a warming climate threatens to spread it through the West.
Control of the U.S. Senate this election hinges on a handful of vulnerable GOP incumbents. Their opposition to the Affordable Care Act could be their undoing.
Thousands of firefighters from across the U.S. have converged on the West as the wildfire season enters its peak. The inherently dangerous job now carries the additional risk of COVID-19 transmission, and fire managers are adapting their plans for crowded fire camps in the hope of preventing outbreaks that could sideline crews and weaken the nation’s firefighting infrastructure.
The race between Steve Bullock and Steve Daines reflects a trend in campaigns nationwide. Republicans often paint Democrats as left of the general public and health care has often been one of the issues the GOP highlights in that effort. In this case, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is leaping to conclusions with its claims.