BILLINGS - RiverStone Health reports two additional Yellowstone County residents died over the weekend from COVID-19 related illness, raising the county’s pandemic death toll to 439 since April 2020.
The deaths included a woman in her 80s who passed away on Nov. 21 who reportedly was vaccinated, although that information had not been confirmed, and a woman in her 70s who passed away on Nov. 20. She was unvaccinated.
Both women died in Billings hospitals and both had underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
On Monday, Billings hospitals had 84 COVID-19 inpatients, including 67 who weren’t vaccinated and 17 who were vaccinated. Among the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 26 were in ICU and 20 were on ventilators.
The safest, most effective way to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death is to get vaccinated as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccinations for people age 5 and older are readily available at local pharmacies, clinics and hospitals.
Vaccination clinic Tuesday
Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the only walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic this week at Cedar Hall at MetraPark will be Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Masks are required at the walk-in vaccination clinics. Children under 18 must have signed parental consent for vaccination. All walk-in clinics will offer all three of the U.S. approved vaccines. These community clinics will provide COVID-19 vaccines as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Booster shots are available to everyone age 18 and older whose second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine was at least six months ago. People who received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago may receive a booster shot.
Holiday week drive-through testing hours
The free, drive-through community testing site in the St. Vincent Healthcare parking lot M at North 28th Street and 11th Avenue North will be closed Tuesday. The COVID-19 testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday and then be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26. The testing site will reopen on November 29 from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and from 12:15 to 3 p.m.