Yellowstone County reports 5 additional COVID-19 deaths, total deaths now at 429

Posted at 3:59 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 17:59:31-05

BILLINGS - Yellowstone County health officials reported Monday there have been five additional COVID-19 deaths. The county health agency also reported that it has removed seven cases previously reported at COVID-19 deaths in 2020.

RiverStone Health said in a press release it received reports Monday of four Yellowstone County residents dying of COVID-19 related illness over the past four days and another resident who died of the pandemic virus on Oct. 25, 2021.

The October death was identified through a review of death certificates by the Yellowstone County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The death involved a woman in her 60s who died in a Billings hospital. She was unvaccinated and had underlying health conditions.

The other four people who died had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and all had underlying medical conditions that increased their risk of severe illness from the pandemic virus. Each died in a Billings hospital. The deceased include:

· A woman in her 70s who died on November 12.

· A man in his 50s who died on November 13.

· A woman in her 50s who died on November 14.

· A man in his 80s who died on November 15.

Also on Monday, RiverStone Health completed the latest reconciliation of COVID-19 death data and determined that seven deaths that occurred in 2020 and were initially reported as COVID-19 related cannot be attributed to the pandemic virus. Each of these seven Yellowstone County residents was infected with COVID-19 at some point, but that wasn't included as a contributing factor on their death certificates. They all had other serious medical issues. The public health team is dedicated to providing accurate reporting and scrupulously checks all death certificates. These seven deaths occurred in October, November, and December 2020 before the COVID-19 vaccine was available.

After subtracting the seven non-COVID deaths from 2020 and adding the five new death reports Monday, Yellowstone County has lost 429 residents to the pandemic virus. Two hundred twenty-three of those residents died since January 1, 2021.

On Monday, Billings hospitals had 95 COVID-19 inpatients, including 78 who weren’t vaccinated and 17 who were vaccinated. Among the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 29 were in ICU and 22 were on ventilators.

Free, walk-in COVID-19 vaccination community clinics for children age 5 and older and adults will be held at Cedar Hall at MetraPark this week:

· Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

· Thursday 4 to 6:30 p.m.

· Saturday, 9 a.m. – noon. This is a pediatric and family clinic that will offer children’s activities and the services of certified therapy dogs.

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. Pfizer vaccine will be offered in the approved lower doses for children ages 5-11 and in the doses for people age 12 and older. First, second and booster doses are available as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

First, second and booster doses of Moderna vaccine are available to people 18 and older. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available to people 18 and older, including for a booster dose.