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Yellowstone County reports additional COVID-19 death

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Posted at 10:57 AM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 12:57:22-05

BILLINGS - Yellowstone County health officials reported Wednesday an additional death due to COVID-19.

Officials at RiverStone Health said on Jan. 12 a woman in her 90s died at a local assisted living facility.

Yellowstone County has lost 172 residents to the pandemic, including seven people who have died in the first 12 days of January, the health agency said in a press release.

At least 14,655 Yellowstone County residents have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, according to RiverStone Health records. Among those infected, 946 have been hospitalized.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Billings hospitals has trended down in the past month, but more than 60 people with this viral disease have been in local hospitals this week. Just under half of the COVID-19 patients are Yellowstone County residents. The rest are from elsewhere in Montana, Wyoming or other states.

“My heart goes out to the families and friends who have lost loved ones to this pandemic,” said John Felton, RiverStone Health CEO and Yellowstone County health officer. “Even as safe, effective vaccine supplies are starting to arrive in our county, everyone must keep taking precautions against spreading the virus: Watch your distance, wear a mask, wash your hands and stay home when you are sick.”

Vaccination against the virus that causes COVID-19 is under way for the 1A priority group of healthcare workers, first responders and residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Yellowstone County.

Under the current Montana vaccination plan, when sufficient supplies are received from the federal government, Yellowstone County providers will start vaccinating the 1B priority group, which includes people over 70, younger people with certain health conditions, and Native Americans and other people of color who are at higher risk for serious illness.

As the vaccine supply and the priorities for who gets vaccinated first change, RiverStone Health will communicate with the community as quickly as possible. COVID-19 information is updated regularly online at covid.riverstonehealth.org.

RELATED: COVID-19 deaths in Big Horn County reach 65