(RiverStone Health Press Release)
BILLINGS - Three Yellowstone County men passed away this weekend from COVID-19 related illness, RiverStone Health reported on Monday.
· A man in his 40s died on Friday, Sept. 24, at a Billings hospital. He was not vaccinated and had no underlying health conditions listed in his medical record.
· A man in his 60s died on Friday, Sept. 24, at a Billings hospital. He was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions.
· A man in his 50s died on Sunday, Sept. 26, at a Billings hospital. He was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions.
These untimely deaths underscore the tragic uncertainty of COVID-19 illness. Healthy, working age people are not immune from negative outcomes should they become infected with COVID-19. Further, COVID-19 illness puts people who already have certain medical conditions at higher risk. Many people in Yellowstone County have “underlying conditions” of risk for severe COVID-19 illness. According to the 2020 Yellowstone County Community Health Needs Assessment:
· 10% of adults surveyed have asthma and 11.2% of adults have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These numbers are worse than the state average.
· Yellowstone County residents have a higher incidence of all types of cancer than the statewide average.
· Over 40% of Yellowstone County adults have high blood pressure, a rate that exceeds statewide and national averages. More than 25% of Yellowstone County adults have high cholesterol.
· 7% of Yellowstone County adults surveyed reported they had been diagnosed with heart disease and 3% had been diagnosed with stroke.
Lung disease, cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Other significant risk factors include pregnancy, smoking and diabetes.
None of the men whose deaths are reported today had the advantage of COVID-19 vaccinations that reduce the risk of severe illness and death. Their deaths bring the county’s pandemic toll to 329 lives lost since April 2020.
RiverStone Health strongly encourages everyone over age 12 to get vaccinated against COVID-19. These free, walk-in clinics will offer first, second and third doses of Pfizer, along with first and second doses of Moderna and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
· Wednesday, Sept. 29, noon-2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Thursday, Sept. 30, 2-6 p.m. RiverStone Health Clinic, Main Street in Worden.
· 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. 9, 9 a.m.-noon, HarvestFest, downtown Billings.
· Oct. 12, noon-2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., RiverStone Health, 123 S. 27th St., in the four-story building.
· Oct. 20, noon-2 p.m. Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 27, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
A limited number of vaccination appointments are available from the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic, phone 406.247.3382. More vaccination information is posted at covid.riverstonehealth.org.