Air National Guard flyover honors health care workers

Thursday, May 7, 2020
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The Montana Air National Guard flew a C-130 aircraft over hospitals and clinics across the state including Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City. STAR PHOTOS/Sharon Moore

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A up-close photograph shows the C-130 aircraft as it flew over Holy Rosary Healthcare yesterday. The flyover was to honor first responders and healthcare workers along with serving as a training exercise for the pilots.

HELENA (AP) — The Montana Air National Guard flew C-130 aircraft over hospitals and clinics in 21 cities Wednesday to salute first responders and health care workers who are treating COVID-19 patients.

Two C-130 aircraft flew over a hospital and clinic in Great Falls before splitting off, with one plane flying over eastern Montana cities and the other heading west.

“I think everyone’s excited to see C-130s fly,” Great Falls Clinic Professional Relations Manager Samantha Shinaberger told the Great Falls Tribune, “but the staff was excited because it was for them.”

In Billings, firefighters, ambulance crews and law enforcement officers held a parade to honor medical workers before the flyover, The Billings Gazette reported.

The flyovers came on National Nurses Day, which was also the third consecutive day that Montana reported no new COVID-19 cases.

Montana has 456 positive tests and 23 known active cases, the state health department reported. Six people remain hospitalized and 16 have died.

Nearly 20,000 COVID-19 tests have been run on Montana residents, including tests run by private labs. the health department said.

Gov. Steve Bullock announced Wednesday the state was setting aside $10 million in federal coronavirus relief money for Montana childcare providers to continue serving families with essential workers and to assist with efforts to reopen.

On Tuesday, Bullock had announced $123 million in relief spending, including $50 million for small businesses and $50 million for rent and mortgage assistance.