(RiverStone Health Press Release)
BILLINGS - A Yellowstone County woman in her 70s died Thursday of COVID-19 related illness, increasing the county’s pandemic death toll to 33 people in the month of September alone. Since April 2020, 334 county residents have died from illness caused by the COVID-19 virus.
The most recent victim passed away at a Billings hospital. She had not been vaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
On Friday, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare had 116 COVID-19 inpatients. Ninety-nine of them had not been vaccinated against the virus. The hospitals reported 25 COVID-19 patients in ICU, including 14 using ventilators to breathe.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the loved ones of the latest pandemic victim,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County health officer and president and CEO for RiverStone Health. “Let this tragedy strengthen our resolve to prevent more cases of severe illness and death.
“Local pharmacies, medical clinics and hospitals have safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines available. Please call the location of your choice to find out if appointments are needed and get vaccinated if you aren’t already,” Felton said.
RiverStone Health will hold free, walk-in clinics to offer first, second and third doses, including booster shots, of Pfizer vaccine, along with first and second doses of Moderna and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to people 18 and older. Only the two-dose Pfizer vaccine is recommended for children ages 12-17. Children will need a parent or guardian to sign their vaccination consent form.
· Monday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Montana State University Billing, Student Union Building, banquet rooms A and B.
· Tuesday, Oct. 5, noon to 2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Thursday, Oct. 7, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Healthy By Design Gardeners’ Market, South Park.
· Oct. 9, 9 a.m. to noon, Harvest Fest, downtown Billings.
· Oct. 12, noon to 2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., RiverStone Health, 123 S. 27th St., in the four-story building.
· Oct. 20, noon to 2 p.m. Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., North Park.
· Oct. 22, 11 am. to 1 p.m., Terry Park.
· Oct. 27, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
People who want to get vaccinated at the Billings Public Library clinics can get free rides to and from the library via MET Transit by calling 406.657.8218. Rides must be scheduled no later than 5 p.m. the day prior to the clinic and can be scheduled up to 14 days in advance.
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.