Stillwater Billings Clinic at capacity

Healthcare providers asking residents to double-down on COVID-19 precautions
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Stillwater Billings Clinic at capacity

Recent surges of COVID-19 cases locally and across the state have Billings hospitals and the Stillwater Billings Clinic (SBC) in Columbus at capacity, with concerns about the rising trend of new cases

Hospitalizations across the state rose from 201 to 216 between Monday and Tuesday, with at least half of those being at one of the hospitals in Billings. Monday also brought a record high new case number of 504. Stillwater County alone added at least five cases as well.

Local healthcare providers are asking residents to do all they can to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Our hospital staff, clinic and non-clinical teams have been working around the clock to keep patients as safe as possible. While our efforts will be the best they can be, we can only work through this surge and to help slow the spread with the help of our community.

We are asking our community to step up, mask up, because our resources are not unlimited,” said Stillwater Billings Clinic CEO David Ryerse. Our facility, like Billings Clinic and other regional partners, have been stretched. Working collaboratively and kindly is our best defense.”

SBC’s top priority is to continue to provide top quality care, even in the most challenging of times.

Ryerse said that hitting capacity has created other complications in other areas like discharging, slowing the process in receiving new patients and having available beds.

“We have been planning months for a surge and are confident that we can continue to provide care to those in need. We strongly encourage those who are in need of medical care not to wait. We are prepared to care for you and will continue to do so in a safe and timely manner,” said Ryerse.

SBC reminds the community that every person can help achieve that goal by stepping up to practice masking when in public, continue safe social distancing, limit contact with out-of-household contacts and wash hands and sanitize frequently.


SBC, like its regional partners, has been diligently planning and preparing for a potential influx of patients. SBC has 10 licensed and staffed hospital beds for acute patients or for patients who are transferred from a larger hospital after an illness or surgery who need some additional transitional care before they can return to their home.

In addition to the hospital beds, SBC has five ER beds that are staffed by experienced teams and that are available for emergent patient care, 24 hours a day.

Currently, SBC beds are filled with a combination of local patients and those who have been transferred from referring facilities in Billings.

“We have continued to provide safe patient care to everyone who needs it, and we strongly encourage anyone who needs medical care not to wait. That said, our staff is working exceptionally hard, and we need the community to adhere to guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve that we are seeing in Montana. We are asking our community to step up, to mask up, because we do not have unlimited resources,” said Ryerse.