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Health officials encourage vaccination as Billings Hospital continues to expand with COVID-19 patients

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Billings-Vaccination was the only way to stop this latest wave of COVID-19 cases in Yellowstone County, pushing hospitals to capacity and boosting the young population, county public health officials said Thursday. Said at a press conference.

As of Thursday, John Felton, CEO of the county’s public health department, River Stone Health, said there were 99 COVID-19 patients in two Billings hospitals. Of these patients, 36 are in the intensive care unit and 23 are on ventilator.

According to Felton, 91 out of 99 patients have not been vaccinated with COVID-19.

Press conference According to state statistics, Yellowstone County has 231 newest cases in the state and currently has 1,555 active cases, the highest in Montana...

this week, The county also hit a tough milestone of 300 COVID-19-related deaths., Also the most in the state.

According to Felton, cases of children who are not vaccinated until the age of 13 are contributing to the surge. In the week ending September 4, Yellowstone County had 180 new cases of COVID-19 under the age of 19. This represents about a quarter of all new cases throughout the county.

As of September 4, Yellowstone County had an immunization rate of 49%, with 66,352 inhabitants fully vaccinated.

RiverStone will continue to provide weekly updates on hospital capacity. That Facebook page..

Felton, the new state law, House building 702Is creating a headache for public health employees. The purpose of the legislation passed by the Montana State Capitol in 2021 was to prevent discrimination against unvaccinated people, but Felton said it was inconsistent with the CDC guidelines.

The CDC recommends unvaccinated quarantine due to the high risk of COVID infection, but does so for vaccinated individuals who are unlikely to spread the virus even with breakthrough infections. ..

He added that he did not think the creator of HB 702 was intended to cause this conflict and urged Congress to come up with a correction.

RiverStone Health conducts contact tracing at all schools in Yellowstone County, and Felton said employees are having a hard time keeping up with demand.

“We simply can’t catch up at this point,” he said.

See the full press conference below.

Yellowstone County Health Officer Press Conference 9-9-21

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