The following is a press release via RiverStone Health:

Billings, MT – The weekend death of a Yellowstone County resident raised the county’s pandemic death toll to 527 lives lost to COVID-19 illness since spring 2020.

The latest victim, a man in his 60s, passed away on Feb. 19 at a Billings hospital. He had underlying medical conditions that put him at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. He was not vaccinated. 

On Monday, the recent trend toward fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations continued. Billings hospitals had 33 COVID-19 inpatients, including 23 who weren’t vaccinated, 10 who were “fully vaccinated” and none who were “up to date” on COVID-19 vaccines. “Fully vaccinated” means a person has received the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines: one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. “Up to date” means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. 

Among Monday’s hospitalized COVID-19 patients, seven were in ICU and four were on ventilators.

A total of 991 Montanans were hospitalized with COVID-19 illness during the eight weeks ending Feb. 11, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Sixty-eight percent of those who were hospitalized and 80% of those who died had not received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Beginning today, RiverStone Health will report COVID-19 related deaths of county residents once a week on Mondays. If more deaths occur, the next news release will be on Feb. 28.

COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, are available at no charge to people age 5 and older at local clinics and pharmacies. For a vaccination appointment, call:

· RiverStone Health Immunization Clinic at 406.247.3382.

· RiverStone Health Clinic at 406.247.3350.

The next RiverStone Health free, walk-in community clinic at the Shrine Auditorium, 1125 Broadwater Ave., will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 3.

For more information on reducing your COVID-19 risk, please visit