Empty beds remain scarce at Billings hospitals

Posted at 7:42 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 13:18:05-04

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services reported this week that the bed use and capacity at five major hospitals across Montana- including the two in Billings- is now more than 90 percent.

The report released Tuesday shows hospital capacity in Yellowstone County at 98 percent.

St. Vincent Healthcare has 45 COVID patients and six available beds, according to the report.

The state showed Billings Clinic with 57 COVID patients and no available beds Tuesday, but hospital officials told Q2 the report does not include the hospital's surge plan that's been in place for weeks.

Hospital officials said they do have available beds, but they did not say how many. They did acknowledge that capacity is 90 percent or above.

Other hospitals listed in the state report at above 90 percent capacity are Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula and St. Peters Health in Helena.

While hospital space remains tight in Billings, adequate ventilators are available.

Billings Clinic had 10 COVID patients on ventilators as of Tuesday and 50 available ventilators. St. Vincent also had 10 COVID patients on ventilators and 19 available ventilators.

The state has started providing weekly updates of hospital capacity as directed by Gov. Steve Bullock. State health officials say the data used the report comes from hospitals and represents a snapshot that can be updated.

See the full report here.