RiverStone Health reported Tuesday seven new COVID-19-related deaths in Yellowstone County since the middle of August, bringing the county's death toll to 587 since the start of the pandemic.
The newly reported deaths include:
- A man in his 80s, who died at a Billings hospital on Oct. 10. He was vaccinated.
- A woman in her 60s who died at a Billings hospital on Oct. 5. She was not vaccinated.
- A woman in her 80s who died at a care facility on Sept. 24. She was vaccinated.
- A man in his 60s who died on Sept. 22 at a Billings hospital. He was not vaccinated.
- A man in his 70s who died on Sept. 6 at a Billings hospital. He was not vaccinated.
- A woman in her 60s who died on Aug. 28 at her home. She was vaccinated.
- A man in his 70s who died on Aug. 15 at a Billings hospital. He was vaccinated.
All seven had underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Some death reports are delayed until death certificates are completed and reviewed through the Yellowstone County Clerk and Recorder’s Office and RiverStone Health. Other deaths are reported more quickly through local hospitals.
In a news release, RiverStone officials also highlighted positive news on the COVID front: the number of positive cases in Yellowstone County has decreased since early September, and hospitalizations have dropped slightly.
In September, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare treated COVID-19 patients every day, fluctuating between 10 and 24 patients. Up to six COVID-19 patients a day were in intensive care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Yellowstone County at medium risk for COVID-19 transmission and recommends that everyone stay up to date on vaccines. If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider taking additional precautions, such as avoiding crowds and wearing a mask in public.
Updated vaccines with protection against currently circulating Omicron variants of the COVID-19 virus became available in early September. These vaccines offer the best protection against serious illness and death from COVID-19. The vaccines are available for people ages 12 and older at local pharmacies and clinics. The CDC recommends this new vaccine for people who previously received COVID-19 vaccinations at least two months ago. If you have questions about when you should get a booster vaccination, contact your personal healthcare provider.
Community members are welcome to call the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic at 406.247.3382 for vaccination appointments.
If you test positive for COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately. You may be eligible for prescription medications that must be started soon after a positive test to be effective against COVID-19. For more information, visit covid.riverstonehealth.org.