Twenty Yellowstone County residents have died from COVID-19 related illness so far in October, including two men whose deaths were reported Friday. Altogether, 354 residents of our county have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began in 2020.
The most recent Yellowstone County pandemic victims, who both passed away at Billings hospitals, include:
• A man in his 50s who died on Thursday. He was unvaccinated and had underlying health risks.
• A man in his 60s who died on Thursday. He was unvaccinated and had underlying health conditions.
Less than half of all Montanans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Although vaccination levels are higher among older adults, 39% of Yellowstone County residents in their 50s haven’t had even one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. And 21% of Yellowstone County residents in their 60s haven’t received their first dose of vaccine.
There were 135 COVID-19 patients hospitalized Friday in Billings Clinic or St. Vincent Healthcare, including 113 who weren’t vaccinated.
Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that reduce the risk of infection, illness and death are available to everyone age 12 and older from local pharmacies, clinics and hospitals.
RiverStone Health will hold these free, walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics:
• Tuesday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., City College, Tech Building, Room A017.
• Wednesday, Oct. 20, noon to 2 p.m. Billings Public Library Community Room.
• Thursday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., North Park.
• Friday, Oct. 22, 11 am. to 1 p.m., Terry Park.
• Oct. 27, noon to 2 p.m., Billings Public Library Community Room.
Clinics listed above will offer first and second doses and booster shots of Pfizer vaccine, along with first and second doses of Moderna and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to people 18 and older. Third doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are available to immune-compromised people.
A limited number of vaccination appointments are available from the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic, phone 406-247-3382. More vaccination information is posted at covid.riverstonehealth.org.