COVID numbers starting to trend down

Wednesday, November 24, 2021
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Just in time for Thanksgiving comes some relatively good news on the COVID-19 front.

The number of Stillwater County residents currently hospitalized for COVIDrelated issues is now nine, with five of those being in ICU and some on ventilators.

For the past several weeks, as many as 14 locals have been hospitalized with at least half on ventilators, said Stillwater Billings Clinic Director of Clinic and Ancillary Services Natasha Sailer.

Hospitalized residents are in the 20 to 70 age categories and only one was vaccinated.

Additionally, the number of active cases in the county is in a downward trend.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 23, Stillwater County had 49 active cases, 27 deaths, 1,128 recovered cases for a total case count of 1,204, according to Stillwater County Public Health and the Montana Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force. This marks the third consecutive week in the past nine weeks during which the number of daily active cases has been under the mid-90 to 130 range.

Stillwater Schools remain at the same numbers, with approximately seven cases throughout all the districts, according to statistics maintained and published by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

STATEWIDE SNAPSHOT

As of Tuesday, Nov. 23, the average daily new case count for the previous 56 days

(excluding weekends) was 1,069. That was down from 1,097 last week, 1,173 the week prior week and 1,210 the week before.

COVID-19 related deaths statewide are now at 2,567 —which represents 44 deaths since last Wednesday, Nov. 17. There were 72 deaths the week prior and 55 deaths the week before that, according to the Montana Coronavirus dashboard.

Since Sept. 8, 739 Montanans have died.

There are 266 people currently hospital ized statewide. That is down from 296 last week and 362 the week prior.

VACCINATIONS

Vaccination percentages locally and statewide dropped this week due to the addition of children now being able to receive the vaccine.

In Stillwater, 40 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. There are now 9,451 people eligible locally with the addition of children. That is up 1 percent from last week. Before the addition of the new age eligibility, Stillwater County’s vaccination percentage was 43 percent.

Statewide, 50 percent of the population is vaccinated, representing 515,090 people. That is the same as last week. The week prior, that number was previously 55 percent.

UPCOMING CLINICS

At a flu and COVID clinic held last Friday, Nov. 19, Stillwater Public Health administered 122 COVID vaccine shots and 20 flu vaccines, said Sailer.

Stillwater Billings Clinic has scheduled the following COVID vaccination clinics for people ages 18 and older:

-Friday, Dec. 3: Walk-in Clinic at the fairgrounds in Columbus from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

-Friday, Dec. 17: Walk-in Clinic at the fairgrounds in Columbus from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

No appointment is needed.

THANKSGIVING GATHERINGS

Sailer said that “healthy decisions” are the name of the game with holiday season now here. That means staying home when sick, frequent hand washing, safe travel and an obvious but important practice of thoroughly cooking your turkey and sanitizing surfaces.

“The last thing we want is to ruin Thanksgiving by food poisoning,” said Sailer.