Booster vaccine shots available starting in November

By 
Jason Bacaj — Enterprise Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Booster shots of both the Moderna and the Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be available in Park County starting the first week of November, Dr. Laurel Desnick, Park City-County health officer, announced.

Registration for the booster shots will be available on the Park City-County Health Department website once more details have been firmed up, Desnick said in a video update published Friday.

Desnick also reported that two more county residents died from COVID-19 last week.

Park County has 180 active cases of COVID-19, with 62 new cases reported Monday and Tuesday, according to the most recent data available from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Around the state, there are currently 11,041 active cases.

The number of active cases in the Livingston School District has risen to 50, according to the district’s dashboard. The bulk of cases are in Sleeping Giant Middle School, which has 24 cases, and Park High School, which has 19. Both schools are doing remote learning until Oct. 25.

“(The surge is) definitely not over,” Desnick said Tuesday morning. “We’re trying to figure out why Park County continues to rise in cases when other parts of the country have dropped off after a couple months of high transmission.”

Statewide, 80% of large hospitals were near capacity as of Monday afternoon, DPHHS data show.

Billings Clinic had between 70% and 90% of beds occupied Monday. The Billings hospital currently has 74 people hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, with 29 of those patients in the intensive care unit and 20 on ventilators, DPHHS data show.

Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital also had 70% to 90% of beds occupied Monday. The nearby hospital has 26 COVID patients, with 12 in the ICU and two on ventilators, DPHHS data show.

Livingston HealthCare had six patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, with two in the ICU and one person on a ventilator, according to state data.

Desnick also noted in her Friday video that Gov. Greg Gianforte extended the National Guard assistance at LHC through next month. Four National Guard members were deployed to LHC earlier this month as resources at the local hospital have been strained during the latest wave of COVID-19 cases.

Monday was the busiest day yet for COVID-19 testing at the county fairgrounds, said Alex Baukus, director of the Park City-County Health Department. More than 150 people passed through the drive-through testing site, Baukus said Tuesday morning.

He added that the Health Department will have flu shots available at all vaccine clinics in the county.

“We’re very busy here at the Health Department,” Baukus said.