BILLINGS - The month of June ended with no deaths from COVID-19 reported for Yellowstone County, but this week two June deaths were reported along with an additional death that occurred in May, RiverStone Health said in a press release.
The pandemic virus was confirmed as a cause or factor in the deaths through a review of death certificates from the Yellowstone County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Yellowstone County has lost 570 residents to COVID-19 since April 2020.
In the latest reports, all victims had underlying health conditions that put them at high risk for severe illness. They include:
· A man in his 80s who died on June 20 at a Billings hospital. He had been vaccinated.
· A man in his 90s who died at home on June 7. He was not vaccinated.
· A woman in her 70s who died on May 21 at a Billings hospital. She had been vaccinated.
As of July 7, Yellowstone County and all of southern Montana from the South Dakota border to the Idaho border had a high rate of COVID-19 spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these precautions for high-risk areas like ours:
· Wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation, such as buses and planes.
· Get tested if you have symptoms. Free at-home COVID-19 tests are available weekdays in the lobby of the four-story RiverStone Health building at 123 S. 27th St.
· If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider taking additional precautions, such as avoiding crowds.
Free COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone age six months and older are available by appointment at RiverStone Health Clinics in Billings 406.247.3350, Bridger 406.662.3740, Joliet 406.962.9062 and Worden 406.967.2255 and through the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic at 406.247.3382.
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. On July 6, the Food and Drug Administration also authorized state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe one of those medications, Paxlovid, for people at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness and only when certain patient health records are available to the prescribing pharmacist.
For more information on COVID-19, visit covid.riverstonehealth.org.