COVID cases continue decline locally

By 
Jason Bacaj Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, November 19, 2021

Cases of COVID-19 are down in Park County for the second consecutive week.

Currently there are 280 active cases of the novel coronavirus in the county, according to data collected by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

“We don’t know why and we don’t know for how long, but we’re thrilled,” said Dr. Laurel Desnick, county health officer.

Statewide there are 6,669 active COVID-19 cases, and 271 active hospitalizations, state data show. A total of 2,547 people have died from the virus in the state during the pandemic. Thirty Park County residents have died from the virus, state data show.

As of Monday, the most recent data available, there were 88 people hospitalized in intensive care units around the state and 48 people on ventilators, according to the state COVID-19 Hospital Capacity Status Report. Billings Clinic had 50 people hospitalized with the virus as of Monday, with 18 in the ICU and 11 on ventilators. Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital had

Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital had 17 people hospitalized with the virus on Monday, with seven in the ICU and three on ventilators, according to the report. Livingston HealthCare on Monday had no COVID patients.

Four people in the Livingston School District were isolating due to COVID as of Wednesday, when the district’s dashboard was last updated.

Desnick said that we’re into the regular cold and flu season, noting that there are rises in respiratory illnesses in children. She said all the precautions for COVID apply to cold and flu as well: Stay out of crowded indoor places, wear a mask, stay at home if you’re sick and wash your hands.

“Most importantly, we need unvaccinated people to get vaccinated. They’re the most at risk,” Desnick said.

On Friday, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration authorized the Moderna and Pfizer booster shots for all adults in the country. Desnick said the county, hospital and local pharmacies have a good supply of vaccine, so “there’s no huge rush to get a booster.”

Those interested in receiving the vaccine or a booster can schedule an appointment through the Livingston HealthCare website or at an area pharmacy.

The Park County Health Department has vaccine appointments available for Nov. 23 and Dec. 7 at the Park County Fairgrounds. Two vaccine clinics are scheduled in Gardiner, on Dec. 1 and Dec. 15 at Yellowstone Forever.

The next vaccine clinic for children ages 5 to 11 is scheduled for Dec. 5 at the Park County Fairgrounds.