Billings Clinic has seen 37 COVID-related deaths during September, more than during six-month period Feb. 20- Aug. 20, 2021

BILLINGS, Mont. - Billings Clinic said they have seen 37 COVID-related deaths during the month of September 2021. By comparison, the hospital saw 32 COVID-related deaths in the six-month period from Feb. 20, 2021- August 20., 2021.

RiverStone Health said 32 Yellowstone County residents died of COVID-19- related illness during the month of September 2021. (For clarification: Some of the COVID- related deaths at Billings Clinic were people who were not Yellowstone County residents.)

Right now, Billings Clinic said there are 52 patients with COVID-19 in the hospital. Of those, 43 patients are not vaccinated.

"Our teams are tired," Director of Medical and Surgical Services for Billings Clinic Ronni Restad said. "This has been a long haul. No one thought that COVID would last quite as long as it has. And, it has been a really long haul for our staff. And, it's been really taxing physically. It's been really taxing emotionally. So, to see the help that we're bringing in is really a moral booster for all of our teams."

Billings Clinic currently has triage rooms set up in the hallway near their emergency department to help meet the need.

Twenty soldiers from the Montana National Guard are currently serving at Billings Clinic, with four more coming on Saturday,  October 2.

"We're probably in at least seven different departments throughout  the hospital right now: from the OR, to ICU, to the environmental services people," Master Sergeant Neil Keane with the Montana National Guard said.

"It's very much like a roller coaster," Master Sergeant Keane said. "One minute, it could be at a lull and then, five minutes later, 20 people could be trying to walk in at the same time."

As of the time of this article, there are 2,840 active cases of COVID-19 in Yellowstone County.

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