Public health officials in Lewis and Clark County reported five new COVID-19-related deaths over a span of 48 hours, bringing the county's total to 16.
Lewis and Clark Public Health announced one of the deaths Monday and the other four Tuesday, noting in a statement released on Facebook that the patients were “separated from their loved ones and more than likely dying alone in a hospital bed surrounded by a group of exhausted medical professionals.”
The health department reported that of 16 people who died of COVID-19, six were between the ages of 70 and 79, and the youngest victim was in his or her 40s.
“The fact is the most vulnerable in this community are the most at risk from dying from the disease,” the statement says.
Officials reported that 50% of the total deaths in the county occurred in November and roughly 80% happened in the last two months.
“The last two statistics should make everyone take pause and reflect on what those numbers could mean if case numbers continue to rise sharply in this county,” the statement says.
Officials also encouraged community members to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay home and keep their distance from others.
“Each person reading this post has the power to prevent further spread. You have the power to save a life, even if they are not someone you know personally,” the statement says. “Please realize the choices you make each day can – they can – protect someone who may not survive.”