(RiverStone Health news release)
BILLINGS – Two more Yellowstone County residents died of COVID-19 illness, increasing the county’s pandemic loss to 324 people since April 2020, RiverStone Health reported Thursday.
The most recent victims are a man in his 70s and a woman in her 90s. Both died on Wednesday in Billings hospitals. Neither had been fully vaccinated and both had underlying medical conditions.
“Yet again, the pandemic spreads grief in our community and we extend heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County health officer and RiverStone Health CEO and president.
“About half of those eligible for vaccines in Yellowstone County have yet to get their first dose,” Felton said. “The pandemic virus has spread rapidly in Yellowstone County. Our case rate per 100,000 residents was 86 last week. That’s nearly eight times the rate of 10 or fewer cases per 100,000 people that Yellowstone County had two months ago. Any rate above 25 per 100,000 is considered a critical level of community spread.”
On Thursday, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare had 110 COVID-19 inpatients, including 31 in ICU and 21 on ventilators. Ninety-one of the 110 patients weren’t fully vaccinated.
At this time, no vaccine is approved for children under age 12, although that may soon change after review of scientific data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At RiverStone Health, third doses of vaccine for immune-compromised people are available only at our walk-in clinics listed below. RiverStone Health has scheduled these free, walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics for people age 12 and older:
· 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. 12, noon-2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 20, noon-2 p.m. Billings Public Library Community Room.
· Oct. 27, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
To make appointments for first and second vaccine doses with the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic, call 247-3382. More vaccination information is posted at covid.riverstonehealth.org.