BILLINGS - Yellowstone County health officials reported Friday three more residents have died due to COVID-19 related illness, bringing the county’s pandemic death toll to 437 since April 2020.
RiverStone Health reported the deaths include:
· A man in his 70s who died on Thursday in a Billings hospital. He was not vaccinated and had underlying medical conditions that put him at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
· A man in his 60s who died at home on September 6, 2021. His death was reported by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services through death certificate reconciliation. No documentation of COVID-19 vaccination was located and his other health conditions are unknown.
· A man in his 80s who died on October 11, 2021, at home. His death also was reported through DPHHS. He was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
On Friday, Billings hospitals had 81 COVID-19 inpatients, including 62 who weren’t vaccinated and 19 who were vaccinated. Among the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 26 were in ICU and 20 were on ventilators.
The safest, most effective way to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death is to get vaccinated as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccinations for people age 5 and older are readily available at local pharmacies, clinics and hospitals.
Kids’ clinic Saturday
In addition, a free, walk-in family and pediatric vaccination clinic will be held from 9 a.m. till noon Saturday in Cedar Hall at MetraPark. This is an older stucco building on the west end of the area where the carnival sets up during MontanaFair. Plenty of parking is available next to Cedar Hall. The Saturday clinic will offer vaccines for all ages 5 years and older with special activities for young children. Children can also meet therapy dogs from HOPE Dogs and Pet Partners.
Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the only clinic next week at Cedar Hall will be Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Masks are required at the walk-in vaccination clinics. Children under 18 must have signed parental consent for vaccination. All walk-in clinics will offer all three of the U.S. approved vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. RiverStone Health and these community clinics will provide COVID-19 vaccines as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As CDC recommendations for booster shots are updated, RiverStone Health will update its policy to follow CDC guidance.
Holiday week drive-through testing hours
The drive-through community testing site in the St. Vincent Healthcare parking lot M at North 28th Street and 11th Avenue North will be open from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and from 12:15 to 3 p.m. Monday and closed Tuesday. The COVID-19 testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday and then be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26. The testing site will reopen on November 29 from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and from 12:15 to 3 p.m.