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Bozeman Health physician says getting COVID vaccine still important as cases rise in Gallatin County

As of Sep. 11, there were 1,794 cases of COVID in Gallatin County and 14,175 cases statewide.
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Posted at 4:27 PM, Sep 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-12 18:27:49-04

Over three years ago, we saw the first cases of COVID-19 in the US, and today we're still seeing a rise and fall of cases in Bozeman. Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center is still encouraging people to get their vaccine.

Emma Peterson has lived in Bozeman on and off for about 8 years, living through the pandemic and the aftereffects of COVID. With the new COVID vaccine being approved on Monday, September 11, she says she will get one.

"For me, it's kind of just the new normal as we go on through time and we get closer to animal populations, as we expand outward, we're going to be exposed to more and more diseases. So this isn't the first new vaccine we're going to get," says Peterson.

As of Sep. 11, there were 1,794 cases of COVID in Gallatin County and 14,175 cases statewide. In Butte, three cases were recorded just last week.

Bozeman Health infectious disease physician, Dr. Peter Bulger, says COVID is still very much a thing, and recently, they're seeing an uptick in Bozeman.

"We’ve been headed up for several weeks now, so it's been kind of a gradual process over the last several weeks," says Dr. Bulger. "There's a number of factors involved. One of them is potentially waning immunity from people having had vaccines a long time ago. I know my last one was probably over a year ago, and new variants circulating that are better at evading."

Like Peterson, Dr. Bulger agrees that getting the newest vaccine is important.

"I just think it's worth still taking these things seriously," says Dr. Bulger. "It's good that we're all kind of getting back to more normal lives, but, you know, still getting our vaccines is super important. Testing if you get sick, staying home, if you have it."

For Peterson, she believes COVID is the new normal.

"It's like any other virus, something like the flu," says Peterson, "and with that, like you are at risk of getting it if you hang out in the general public."

Bozeman Health adds they currently have ample room in the hospital to provide care for patients.

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