3rd person dies of COVID-19 in Yellowstone County
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3rd person dies of COVID-19 in Yellowstone County

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A medical worker places a swab in a vial while testing for COVID-19.

A third person has died in Yellowstone County from COVID-19, according to RiverStone Health, the county’s public health department.

This is the 17th Montanan to die from COVID-19 and the national death total is nearing 100,000 people.

The death occurred on Monday, May 25. The woman, in her 80s, died in a Yellowstone County hospital. To protect the privacy of the woman, RiverStone Health said it will not release further information about the death. 

The woman died "from complications due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus," according to the press release.

The first COVID-19 death in Yellowstone County was 52-year-old Bruce "J.R." Spotted Bear Jr. He died on April 17, and 11 days later his 77-year-old father, Bruce Spotted Bear Sr., died. Spotted Bear Sr. was also Montana's 16th and most recent death related to COVID-19 before the 17th death reported Tuesday.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to this woman’s family and friends,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County Health Officer and President and CEO of RiverStone Health, in a statement included in the press release. “This death serves as a very unfortunate reminder about the seriousness of this pandemic. Our most vulnerable community members — elderly, immunocompromised, and those with chronic conditions — are especially at risk and we must continue to take measures to protect them from this disease.” 

By email, Governor Steve Bullock also issued a statement about Yellowstone County's most recent COVID-19 death.

“Today Montana mourns another loss due to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to the family and friends who grieve the passing of their loved one," Bullock said. "I ask that Montanans continue to commit ourselves to fighting the spread of this virus and take seriously our responsibility to protect our loved ones and neighbors from this disease.”

On Tuesday Montana reported 21 active cases and two hospitalizations. Four of those active cases were in Yellowstone County were 88 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Statewide 441 people had recovered from COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning.

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