Yellowstone County reports new COVID death, marking 22 deaths in 22 days

COVID-19 Red
Posted at 6:42 PM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 20:42:10-04

BILLINGS — RiverStone Health announced a new COVID-19-related death in Yellowstone County Wednesday, marking 22 deaths over the past 22 days.

The death was a woman in her 60s who died Wednesday at a Billings hospital. She had been fully vaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

Yellowstone County now has 322 COVID-related deaths.

“Words of sympathy fall short of expressing the tremendous sorrow caused by these continuing tragedies,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County health officer and RiverStone Health CEO and president, in a statement. “To stop this virus, we must take all evidenced-based precautions, starting with vaccinations for everyone age 12 and older.”

On Wednesday, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare had 109 COVID-19 inpatients, including 32 in ICU and 22 on ventilators. Eighty-eight of the 109 patients weren’t fully vaccinated.

Nearly 400 Montanans were hospitalized statewide for treatment of COVID-19 illness Wednesday, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Eight of Montana’s 10 largest hospitals were near, at or over patient capacity, accord to a DPHHS report released Tuesday.

Seven of eight indicators on the Yellowstone County COVID-19 dashboard are red, signifying critical concerns for outpacing capacity of public health in case investigation and follow-up, healthcare system, respiratory cases coming into hospital emergency departments, positive test rate, new case rate and regional case rate, according to RiverStone. The dashboard indicator for COVID-19 testing capacity is yellow, reflecting that need for testing is beginning to outpace capacity.

To make appointments for first and second vaccine doses with the RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic, call (406) 247-3382. More vaccination information is posted at