BILLINGS - Yellowstone County health officials reported Wednesday that at least 248 county residents have died of COVID-19 related illness.
RiverStone Health said in a press release the most recent victims include a woman in her 90s who died in Yellowstone County on March 18, and a man in his 90s who died at a Billings hospital on March 12.
“The pandemic is still taking a terrible toll on Yellowstone County families,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County health officer and RiverStone Health president and CEO. “I offer condolences to the loved ones of the local people whose lives were ended by COVID-19.”
RiverStone Health is working with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to reconcile data on several COVID-19 related deaths, the press release states. As of Wednesday, RiverStone Health records indicate 248 Yellowstone County residents have died of COVID-19. The state case map shows 243 deaths.
Until more than 70% of community members are immunized against COVID-19, everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a mask when around people outside your household, wash hands frequently, avoid crowds and stay home if sick, the health agency said.
Safe, effective vaccinations are being offered to all Yellowstone County residents age 16 and older, but availability is limited by supply.
COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be made online at mtreadyclinic.org starting Thursday afternoon for free clinics being held next week at Cedar Hall at MetraPark. The clinics are organized by the Unified Health Command (RiverStone Health, Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare and Yellowstone County Disaster and Emergency Services).
Many local pharmacies are offering COVID-19 vaccinations and may charge administration fees. Find information at vaccinefinder.org.