BILLINGS - Yellowstone County health officials reported Wednesday the 145th COVID-19 death in the county.
RiverStone Health said in a press release that a woman in her 80s died in a Billings hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
"Each person lost to this pandemic is a significant loss to our community,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County public health officer and RiverStone Health CEO. “To honor the memory of those who have died, let’s resolve to do everything we can personally to reduce the risk of more illness and death.”
According to RiverStone Health records, 145 Yellowstone County people have died of COVID-19 related illness. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services online map indicates 146 deaths have occurred in the county. RiverStone Health said it working with DPHHS to reconcile that discrepancy.
This week, limited quantities of a COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Billings and throughout the nation, the press release states. The vaccine is crucial to ending the pandemic, but getting everyone vaccinated will take months.
Meanwhile, more than 120 COVID-19 patients were in Billings hospitals this week, including dozens on ventilators that keep them breathing.
The health agency states the best prevention measures remain:
· Wearing a mask in public and whenever you are near a person who doesn’t live with you.
· Keeping your distance from others who don’t live with you.
· Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently.
· Staying home if you are ill.
To date, 12,876 Yellowstone County residents have been infected with COVID-19.
More information on the pandemic is online at covid.riverstonehealth.org.