(RiverStone Health Press Release)
BILLINGS - Three Yellowstone County people died Thursday of COVID-19 illness, RiverStone Health reported Friday. None of these men had been fully vaccinated and all had underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness. All were hospitalized when they died.
The fatalities include: a man in his 40s who was unvaccinated, a man in his 60s who had the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and a man in his 70s who was unvaccinated.
“I offer deepest condolences to the families and friends of the COVID-19 victims,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County health officer and RiverStone Health CEO and president. “In memory of the 313 Yellowstone County residents we’ve lost, let’s resolve to prevent more deaths by encouraging all our relatives and acquaintances to get vaccinated.”
On Friday, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare reported 109 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 illness, including 89 people who were not fully vaccinated. The hospitals had 35 COVID-19 patients in ICU and 26 on ventilators.
So far, 51% of Yellowstone County’s age 12 and older population has been fully vaccinated against the pandemic virus, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. That’s 69,082 people vaccinated out of a population of 164,000, including children under age 12.
As of Friday, Yellowstone County had nearly 25% of all the active cases in the state and twice as many cases as any other county, according to DPHHS.
RiverStone Health has scheduled these free, walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics for people age 12 and older:
· Wednesday, Sept. 22, noon-2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Thursday, Sept. 23, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., RiverStone Health, 123 S. 27th St., in the four-story building.
· Sept. 29, noon-2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 5, noon-2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 7, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Healthy By Design Gardeners’ Market, South Park.
· Oct. 12, noon-2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 20, noon-2 p.m. Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 27, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
Third doses will be given only to immune-compromised people and only at walk-in clinics.
To make appointments for first and second vaccine doses with the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic, call 247-3382. More vaccination information is posted at covid.riverstonehealth.org.