Hospitals 'in a crisis' with COVID patients in overflow rooms, more young people hospitalized

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In the last seven days, 31 more Montanans have died of COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,842 deaths. The week also brought 85 more hospitalized COVID patients into overflowing facilities. There were 351 active COVID hospitalizations as of Monday, Sept. 13.

On Monday, St. Vincent Healthcare had 54 COVID inpatients, 48 of which were unvaccinated. Of those, 11 patients were in the ICU, all of whom were intubated.

Billings Clinic is caring for 70 COVID patients, the most since the first week of December 2020. There are 25 patients at the ICU level with 13 on ventilators. Six ICU patients are receiving care in overflow spaces.

And more cases keep piling on, with 4,230 more cases added since last Wednesday, bringing the active case count to 7,589.

“It’s gotten to the point that we are in a crisis,” said Billings Clinic CEO Dr. Scott Ellner. “The patients we’re seeing are not only sicker, they’re younger, we’re being depleted with our workforce, and we’ve lost several people across health care. People are tired and incredibly frustrated. We’re worried that the public doesn’t understand.”

This time last year, Montana was averaging 101 new cases per day and marked the beginning of the state’s initial

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