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BILLINGS, Mont. - RiverStone Health is reporting Yellowstone County has seen an increase in COVID-19 patients in local hospitals, with the majority of patients reportedly not being fully vaccinated against the virus.

As of Thursday, 21 Yellowstone County people were hospitalized at Billings Clinic or St. Vincent Healthcare with COVID-19 related disease according to a release from RiverStone Health.

“The majority of people hospitalized for COVID-19 are those who haven’t been fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Neil Ku, an infectious disease specialist at Billings Clinic. “When people get vaccinated, they help reduce the risk of hospitalization and reduce the risk that vulnerable people will get infected.”

John Felton, Yellowstone County health officer, and CEO and president of RiverStone Health says vaccination is the most effective way to reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization and death.

In response to the increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations, the county is scheduling free, walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics on the following dates:

  • June 5, 5:30 – 7 p.m., Dehler Park, concourse behind home plate. The Billings Mustangs game starts at 6:35 p.m.

  • June 11, 10 a.m. to noon, Montana State University Billings student orientation.

  • June 11, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., RiverStone Health, Lil Anderson Center, 123 S. 27th St.

  • June 24, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Gardener’s Market, South Park.

  • June 25, 10 a.m. to noon, Montana State University Billings orientation.

  • June 26, 1 – 3:00 p.m., SummerFair at MSUB.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is approved for people age 12 and older, will be offered at all of the clinics listed above as well as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those 18 and older.

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