According to a press release from RiverStone Health, there were more than 300 new COVID-19 cases in Yellowstone County as of yesterday (Monday), that still have not been assigned to contact tracers.

1,809 new cases have been reported in the first 18 days of October, and that spike has "nearly overwhelmed our local public health system," according to the press release from Yellowstone County's public health service.

Billings' hospitals were more than 90 percent full over the weekend, according to Montana DPHHS reports, with Billings Clinic and St. V's hitting new COVID-19 daily records.

As of today (Tuesday 10/20), 5,246 residents of Yellowstone County have been infected with COVID-19, with 81 deaths. Four of those deaths were reported today, according to the press release.

The average daily rate of new infections per 100,000 population exceeded 67 last week in Yellowstone County. That was an increase from an average of 61 new cases per day the previous week and 36 new cases a week earlier. The average number of new cases per day per 100,000 population was 18 for the first full week of September. The case rate has quadrupled since July. -RiverStone Health

A Health Officer Order is in effect through November 9 for Yellowstone County that caps group gatherings to 25 people, and recommends that residents "reduce their in-person interactions with people they don't live with to no more than 6 people per week."

RiverStone Health urges everyone to consistently do the following to help reduce the COVID-19 infection rate in Yellowstone County:

  • Keep their distance from people outside their household. Stay a minimum of six feet away from others.
  • Wear a mask in public.
  • Wash their hands frequently.
  • Stay home when they are ill.

Free drive-through COVID-19 testing is offered weekdays from 8:30am to 12:30pm at 2173 Overland Drive. CLICK HERE to find out more.