BILLINGS - Yellowstone County health officials reported Wednesday two additional residents have died due to COVID-19.
In a press release RiverStone Health said on Jan. 5 a man in his 70s died at a Billings hospital and a second man in his 70s died at a long-term care facility on that same day.
The deaths raise the total in the county to 168 and are the second and third COVID-19 deaths since the new year began.
“I extend deep sympathy to the families of these Yellowstone County men,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County public health officer and RiverStone Health CEO. “Their passing is a tragic reminder that the pandemic remains a threat to our health and our lives.”
Safe, effective vaccines will end this pandemic, but Montana doesn’t yet have sufficient supplies of vaccine to protect most residents, the press release states. Montana is still in the 1A priority group vaccination phase for health workers, first responders and senior care facility residents.
While waiting for vaccine supplies, our only protection is consistent use of distancing, masking, handwashing, sanitizing and staying home when ill, according to the health department.
At least 14,170 Yellowstone County residents have been infected with COVID-19 to date, according to RiverStone Health records.
More information on the pandemic, including updated Yellowstone County statistics, is online at covid.riverstonehealth.org.