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Bozeman Health urges vaccinations as ICU beds fill up

Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 19:30:31-04

BOZEMAN — The usual Gallatin City-County Health Department meeting kicked off with some good news on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

“I’m happy to report that we have seen across all of these age groups at least a one percent increase in all of the age groups for the first dose,” said Health Officer Lori Christenson about COVID vaccinations in Gallatin County.

From 12 to 80 plus years old the number of first-dose vaccinations has grown. But while there’s celebration for those starting the process, there comes a warning for the rest.

“For most people, if you get COVID it’s a low chance of death. Make it lower. There’s no reason to delay getting a vaccine. Get a vaccine, and that’s my strong message. Don’t end up in our ICU,” said Dr. Andrew Sullivan, pulmonologist and critical care physician at Bozeman Health Deaconess.

According to Dr. Sullivan, the ICU has been filled with patients.

“As of yesterday morning, we had 7 of our 12 ICU status beds were sick with COVID pneumonia: 4 on life-support, 3 not on life support yet," he said. "This morning, out of our 12 licensed ICU beds, 2 of those people passed away in the last 24 hours.”

Plus the addition of a new patient in the ICU. The hospital says in the last 2 weeks 80 percent of hospitalized COVID-positive patients have been unvaccinated. While vaccinations were a key theme in the meeting, so was the support for masks in schools.

“I also want to call attention to Montana State University, the Bozeman School District, and all area schools who have made recent decisions to require masks," said Bozeman Health Deputy Incident Command Lead Louis Mendiola. "This is a very, very important and crucial decision, and Bozeman Health thanks those leaders for making this decision.”

Bozeman Health, Billings Clinic Bozeman, Community Health Partners, and the Health Department all stand together in support of schools with the requirement.

There were 706 new COVID-19 cases reported within the last 24 hours in Montana, with 4,628 total active cases in the state as of Aug. 27. The last time the state had over 4,600 active cases was Jan. 24 according to MTN data.

The number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID is 228. The cumulative number of hospitalizations in Montana due to the virus is 6,294, an increase of 29 since Thursday. In the past seven days, the state has seen 171 hospitalizations. To date, roughly 1 in 20 (5.0%) reported COVID cases in the state have resulted in a hospitalization.

There were two new deaths reported; the total number of Montanans who have died due to COVID is now 1,783, according to the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS).

50 percent of eligible residents are now vaccinated, with 460,372 Montanans now considered fully vaccinated. The total number of doses administered is 938,418. If you want to get vaccinated, contact your county health department, or click here.


Health officials support Bozeman-area mask requirements in schools
CDC: 16 to 17-year-olds make up highest rate of new COVID infections
Aug. 27 COVID Update: 706 new cases on Friday, 171 hospitalizations in last week
Montana State University now requiring masks until at least Oct. 1