Missoula City County Health Department COVID 19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr provided the latest video update on the pandemic on Thursday afternoon, and said a number of hospitalizations and deaths had been reported the previous week.
âToday (Thursday), hospitalizations in Missoula broke the record again with 58 hospitalizations,â Farr said. âHospitals continue to ask residents to be responsible and to get vaccinated to ease the strain on their system. The vast majority of people hospitalized are not vaccinated. Hospitals are receiving support from the National Guard to deal with the situation, but the National Guard is largely aiding clean rooms and other tests that do not directly involve patient care, so they still have issues with staff. “
Farr went on to indicate the number of deaths during the previous week.
âWe have recently seen an increase in the number of people dying from COVID-19,â she said. “From Tuesday 21 to Tuesday 28e, we had 11 residents who died from the virus. About half of them were middle-aged residents and the other half were older adults. Deaths in the past three months have far exceeded deaths from the rest of the pandemic before that. This shows us that the Delta Variant is indeed not only more contagious, but also more deadly than the original strain we saw last year.
Farr said COVID 19 booster vaccines are now available.
âOur vaccination clinic in Southgate Mall is now providing Pfizer boosters to some residents,â she said. âResidents must have been previously vaccinated with Pfizer and there is no exception to this, and they must be at least six months before their second dose. They must also meet the following qualifications: 65 years and over and residents of long-term care facilities, 18 years and older, 18 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions, or 18 to 64 years who are at increased risk exposure to COVID-19 because of their work environment.
Farr then announced that approval is near to provide COVID 19 vaccines for even younger children.
“The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved for children aged five to 11 in the coming weeks,” she said. âParents, we strongly encourage you to use legitimate information and speak to a pediatrician when it comes to making health decisions for your child. Unfortunately, we are already seeing a lot of misinformation online about vaccines for this age group despite trials showing they are perfectly safe. We strongly encourage parents to get their children immunized as soon as the CDC approves a vaccine for this age group. “
See all of Farr video update here.