More Montanans Will Die of COVID in 2021 Than They Did in 2020
It's been no secret that Montana has been one of the worst spots in the country for COVID over the last few months. The state has consistently been reporting its highest numbers ever on a daily basis, and there are countless stories about hospitals being full, overworked, and understaffed. (You can read this intense story here, about a Montana man who couldn't get admitted to a hospital in the state - they had to go all the way to Wyoming.)
The Missoulian recently ran a piece about Governor Gianforte defending the state's COVID policies, and in it they mention an interesting, upsetting stat - at the current rate things are going, Montana is set to see more citizens die of COVID this year than it did last year. That's despite the fact that the vaccine has widely been available in Montana for most of this year, when last year we didn't have one.
A big part of that is Montana having a lower vaccination rate than most of the country, with just about 49% of Montanans being fully vaccinated. The combination of low vaccination rates plus an aging population and poor health among rural residents has been a big factor in the increase of COVID-related deaths.
So far, 1,024 people in Montana have died in 2021 from COVID - there were just over 1150 in 2020. At its current pace, Montana will easily eclipse that number by the end of the year.
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