BILLINGS - Two additional Yellowstone County residents died of COVID-19 related illness this weekend, RiverStone Health said in a press release Monday. Both were men in their 80s who had underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
· One man passed away Sunday at a Billings hospital. He had been vaccinated, but had not received a booster.
· One man passed away Saturday at a Billings hospital. He had not been vaccinated.
Including the latest deaths, 482 Yellowstone County residents have died during pandemic. Statewide, 2,921 Montanans have died, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
On Monday, Billings hospitals had 48 COVID-19 inpatients, including 35 who weren’t vaccinated and 13 who were vaccinated. Among the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 11 were in ICU and eight were on ventilators.
Statewide, 154 Montanans were hospitalized Monday with COVID-19 illness, according to DPHHS. Since the pandemic disease arrived in Montana in March 2020, a total of 10,513 Montanans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 related illness, DPHHS reports.
Vaccination remains the safest, most effective way to reduce risk of COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death, the health agency states in the press release. COVID-19 vaccines are available at local medical clinics and pharmacies. RiverStone Health will offer these free, walk-in community COVID-19 vaccination clinics for people age five and older:
· Thursday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Shrine Auditorium, 1125 Broadwater Ave.
· Thursday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. – noon at Petro Theater, Montana State University Billings, 1500 University Dr.
· Thursday, Jan. 27, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at City College Tech Building, 3803 Central Ave.
· Thursday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Shrine Auditorium, 1125 Broadwater Ave.
Free COVID-19 vaccinations also can be scheduled by appointment by calling the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic at 406-247-338.
Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are available at RiverStone Health clinics. People can receive first, second and booster doses as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who previously had one or two doses should bring their vaccination card. Parents must sign consent forms for children under 18. Masks are required at the vaccination clinic.
In addition to vaccination, wearing a well-fitting mask and maintaining physical distance from others continue to be recommended COVID-19 mitigation strategies. These strategies, coupled with staying home when you are feeling ill, will help lessen the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit covid.riverstonehealth.org.