Yellowstone County's COVID-19 death toll grew to 467 Thursday, as RiverStone Health reported four new deaths.
Two deaths occurred this week, and two others were identified following a review of death certificates.
The deaths included:
· A woman in her 70s who died on Tuesday at a Billings hospital. She was vaccinated.
· A woman in her 80s who died on Wednesday at a Billings hospital. She was vaccinated.
· A man in his 80s who died on Nov. 24 at a residence. He was vaccinated. His death was identified through the Yellowstone County Clerk and Recorder’s review of the death certificate.
· A man in his 40s who died on Oct. 25 at a residence. He was unvaccinated. His death was identified by the clerk’s office through death certificate review.
On Thursday, Billings hospitals had 50 COVID-19 inpatients, including 45 who weren’t vaccinated and five who were vaccinated. Among the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 20 were in ICU and 17 were on ventilators.
The safest and most effective way to reduce your risk of severe illness is to get vaccinated. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its COVID-19 vaccination recommendation to add people ages 16 and 17 to the list of those for whom a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine is approved. A booster is recommended if it has been at least six months since the person received the second vaccine dose. Previously, booster shots were only approved for people age 18 and older. RiverStone Health provides COVID-19 vaccinations as recommended by the CDC.
In Billings, vaccinations for people age 5 and older are available at pharmacies, clinics and hospitals.
RiverStone Health also will offer these free, walk-in community vaccination clinics:
· 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at MetraPark’s Cedar Hall, an older, stucco building near the west end of the area where the carnival sets up during MontanaFair. This pediatric clinic offers children’s activities, including the opportunity to meet therapy dogs and Santa Claus. Children as young as 5 years as well as adults can receive vaccines at this clinic.
· 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on December 30 at RiverStone Health, 123 S. 27th St., in the four-story building.
Masks are required at the vaccination clinics. Children under 18 must have signed parental consent for vaccination. Walk-in clinics will offer all three of the U.S. approved vaccines. People who have previously had one or two doses of COVID-19 vaccine should bring their vaccination card.