RiverStone Health, Yellowstone County's public health department, reported two new COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday.
The first was a man in his 70s who died Friday in a Billings hospital. The second was a man in his 60s who died Monday in a Billings hospital.
Yellowstone County now has 177 COVID-19-related deaths, including 12 this month.
“The passing of two more Yellowstone County residents is a tragic reminder that the pandemic continues to threaten our community,” said John Felton, RiverStone Health CEO and Yellowstone County health officer, in a statement. “I offer my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of these two men.”
At least 15,123 Yellowstone County residents have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, according to RiverStone Health records. Among those infected, 985 Yellowstone County residents have been hospitalized, including 90 who were admitted to hospitals this month.
Yellowstone County has lost 177 residents to the pandemic, 12 of whom died in January.
While vaccines have arrived for the virus, RiverStone officials noted the supply is limited.
Members of the group known as 1B in Gov. Greg Gianforte's vaccination plan are currently eligible for a vaccine. They include people over age 70, younger people with health conditions that put them at high risk for serious illness, and Native Americans and other people of color who are at high risk from COVID-19.
Vaccinations are also taking place for frontline healthcare workers and emergency reponders.