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More federal help comes to Billings Clinic to help with COVID surge

Billings Clinic ER.jpg
Posted at 8:07 AM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 10:07:37-05

More than 20 new federal workers in two teams have arrived at Billings Clinic to help the hospital deal with the area's COVID-19 surge.

An eight-person group of U.S. Public Health Service nurses arrived at the hospital on Friday, Nov. 5, is serving patients, according to the clinic. The team is helping with COVID-19 duties, including testing, providing monoclonal antibody treatment and administering COVID-19 vaccinations, and relieving and assisting the hospital's COVID testing unit and others.

Then, on Tuesday, a second team of about 20 U.S. Navy medical personnel, including doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists, arrived to help with patient care.

Both teams are expected to remain at Billings Clinic for 30 days.

Yellowstone County has been at the center of the COVID crisis during the most recent wave, which has put a strain on hospitals and staff. As of Tuesday, 114 people were hospitalized in the two Billings hospitals with COVID-19, according to RiverStone Health, the county's public health department. Of those, 35 were in intensive care, and 21 were on ventilators, according to RiverStone.

Of those in the hospital, 94 were not vaccinated against COVID, while 20 were fully vaccinated.