Page modified 3/1/2021. At this time, daily statistics are available via the Montana COVID map link below. Local vaccine and 
testing information is available on this page.

Vaccination and Testing Options Here in Carbon County

COVID-19 Vaccination Updates!!!!!

COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Phase 1C beginning very soon!

If you have filled out the vaccination survey on and you qualify for Phase 1C, be expecting a call soon to schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine. If you are wondering if you are included in Phase 1C, please see the criteria below that we have adapted for Carbon County. If you are not sure if this is your phase, please call 446-0609.  *Please note*  if you are a worker and living in Carbon County, you likely are in this phase!


-Anyone 60 years and older

-Ages 18-59 with medical conditions not included in 1B, but may create increased risk for COVID-19 complications (please see list on

-All Frontline Essential Workers 18 years and older. We believe ALL workers in Carbon communities are essential to our residents and welcomed visitors. So, if you work with the public, or are employed in a work group, you likely qualify for Phase 1C. This includes (but not limited to) workers in Education, Grocery, Retail, Service, Construction, Finance, Real Estate, Health/Fitness/Beauty, Agriculture, Tourism, Food/Bar Service, Govt. Employees

-Still no recommendations out for ages less than 16 years. If you have a child 16 or 17 years old with a qualifying health condition, please contact Public Health for guidance on receiving a Pfizer vaccine.

As we approach 70 million COVID vaccinations in the US, efficacy and safety data continues to meet or exceed expectations.  Side effects are tolerable and almost always resolve by the next day. Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 has been mutating and these new variants are spreading in the US. The sooner most of us have immunity to COVID-19, the less of an impact these variants will have on our population. Please consider being vaccinated by visiting and filling out our survey. Lastly, soon the CDC will release new guidelines for less activity restrictions for vaccinated persons – keep an eye out for this!

Bill George MD, Carbon County Public Health Officer

Here is some relevant COVID-19 news for this cold Montana week.

We’ve gotten great feedback from the public and the State on our COVID-19 vaccination program. To date, 955 persons in phase 1B have received their first vaccine injection, and approximately another 455 1B persons are awaiting their first injection. Second dose for phase 1B to begin next week. Remember, your second dose will be available for you at your given appointment time. I’m so proud of our Public Health staff and Beartooth Billings Clinic Hospital staff and volunteers who continue to strive for an equitable, transparent, safe and efficient vaccine program.  

If you are at least 70 yrs. of age or have one of the significant health conditions required for Phase 1B, PLEASE consider being vaccinated. Very rare (mostly allergic) side effects have been reported after 48 million injections (to-date) of this mRNA COVID vaccine have been given. Early data is beginning to show likely transmission prevention of COVID-19 as well as the proven efficacy to prevent severe disease. Also, please consider filling out our COVID vaccine survey at the top of this page to request a vaccine for upcoming phases.

As expected, Governor Gianforte has rescinded Montana’s mask mandate effective today. Other directives involved with Montana’s phase reopening plan are also rescinded. This change in policy prioritizes many Montanan’s desires for individual responsibility over state directives to protect the public during this pandemic. Guidelines for safety and viral suppression will still be recommended by Federal and State agencies in charge of monitoring disease prevalence, hospitalizations, injuries and economic effects.

Though case numbers and hospitalizations are significantly decreased in Montana and in the US, the emergence and increase of new Corona viral variants as well as the persistence of a large number of active cases has resulted in the recommendation to continue all the previous mitigation measures (masking, distance and hygiene) at this time.  

The Carbon County Board of Health continues to RECOMEND wearing an appropriate face covering while in public and when 6 feet of distance cannot be assured. Local businesses should consider changing their signage to alert patrons of this recommendation. Remember, it is every business owner’s legal right to establish policies known to increase safety for their patrons and employees.

US COVID hospitalizations this week are the lowest level since November. The reason is unclear, but likely this is not a result of our still early vaccine distribution. However, as vaccine immunity expands and if these new viral variants are not resistant to our chosen vaccines, we do expect (in the coming months) hospitalizations and eventually COVID related deaths to dramatically decrease to a manageable level. When this occurs I expect these isolating and difficult mitigation measures will begin to be lifted, and life will begin to look more normal for all of us.

Bill George MD, Carbon County Public Health Officer

COVID-19 Vaccine Update 1/25/2021

Thanks everyone for their participation and patience with our first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for phase 1B persons last Thursday.  We’ve received supportive and helpful feedback with this process and will continue to make improvements in upcoming weeks. Here is some helpful numbers and other info as you wait for your call/email for a vaccine appointment. PLEASE REMEMBER – the number of persons requesting vaccines continue to increase daily. We are hoping that the amount of vaccines that Montana and Carbon County receive will also increase in the weeks ahead – this is very dependent on Federal policy and supply chain issues.

-See below the link to the new Montana County Specific Vaccine Map tracking the number of people in our state/county who are partially and fully immunized.

-To date, we have had 2163 requests for COVID-19 vaccines. This includes 1008 persons qualified for Phase 1B.

-Presently, 256 persons in Phase 1A and 209 persons in Phase 1B are fully vaccinated or awaiting their 2nd . These doses were given in Carbon County.

-Vaccine supply continues to be very limited, and after this week we don’t expect to receive more than 100 doses/week for the next few weeks. This does not include doses of vaccine to complete the two-shot series.

-General questions concerning COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines can be asked through the site/contact tab.

We continue to strive for an equitable and transparent process. Our staff will contact by email/phone those who requested vaccines through the Carbon Alert survey and by phone. COVID survey tool is the preferred process for enrollment. Vaccine appointments will be offered in order of request received – there are no exceptions to this process.

Looking at the numbers of vaccines arriving and vaccinations requested, it seems that it will be several weeks before Phase 1B receives at least their first dose. Remember, the first dose provides over 80% protection, while the value of the second dose is to lengthen the time of protection and increase efficacy to 95%. As all of our patience is again being tested, please remember how very effective the recommended preventative measures (distance, masks, hygiene and staying home ill) are for both avoiding and transmitting this illness.

Bill George MD, Carbon County Public Health Officer

Thank you all for waiting so patiently for more news on our local COVID vaccination process. Like in all communities, we do not know the amount of vaccine we will receive until soon before shipment. Our supply chain is managed by the State of Montana. I believe they are doing a good job getting vaccines out as quick as possible to all vaccination centers. As we have said before, supply is extremely limited but will likely continue to improve in the weeks ahead.

Here is some important news:

-Vaccinations for Phase 1B will begin Thursday, January 21. Those of you who expressed interest by filling out the survey (at or called Public Health or Beartooth Billings Clinic for inclusion, will be called for a time slot and information. To assure an equitable process, names will be called in the order we received your interest. Please do not call Beartooth Billings Clinic or Public Health to inquire about your place in line. Besides the complexities of vaccinations, the daily work of PH continues. Numerous active infections and quarantine management continues to challenge our limited personnel.

-Montana’s Phase 1B continues to include those over 70 years of age, persons aged 18 – 69 with high-risk medical conditions, American Indian and other people of color who may be at elevated risk. This list can be found on DPHHS and Carbon alert web site. This list can be found on DPHHS and Carbon Alert web site.

-Moderna’s mRNA vaccine will be the predominate vaccine in the near term for Montanans. This vaccine is only indicated for those over 18 yrs. of age.

-Plan on waiting for 15 minutes after your vaccine to observe for possible rare allergic reactions.

-For long term immunity, the vaccination requires a booster dose in 28 days. We have been assured there will be a supply for this. You will be assisted in making this second appointment.

-Riverstone Health patients utilizing Bridger and Joliet clinics should call their clinics to request receiving their vaccination at their clinics.

-The Public Health vaccination events will serve Beartooth Billings Clinic and Mountainview SCL patients, as well as any other Carbon County residents.

-For logistical reasons we will strive to vaccinate a minimum of 100 people on scheduled vaccination days.

-Plans are being made to allow access for vaccinations in other parts of Carbon County. The frequency of all our local vaccination clinics will depend on vaccine supply. Our goal is to avoid holding unused vaccines for greater than 1 week.

Here are some questions that we don’t have answers for currently:

How long will Phase 1 group take to complete? Will phase descriptions change and be more inclusive? When will other types of COVID vaccines be available?

Here is something I do know:

We are committed to a safe, equitable, transparent and efficient COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Our citizens deserve no less. We appreciate your patience with this process. I will do my best to update you on our vaccination status and any changes to the process.

Bill George MD Carbon County Public Health Officer

Happy New Year everyone. Having these most recent updates focusing on our COVID -19 vaccines is a wonderfully hopeful way to begin 2021. Like all things COVID, this process will evolve with time as vaccine supplies and data on efficacy and safety continue to develop. As many of you know, reports from the original vaccine study participants (many thousands) and those most recently vaccinated (millions) continue to be very positive. In the last few weeks, we have finally seen decreased Montana COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations. Sadly, Montana has reached over 1000 deaths from COVID-19.  Please consider getting vaccinated when your phase is called (which will be explained below.) To give some relief for our still full hospitals, I am hoping that the prevalence of infections continues to become more manageable.  With more of our population becoming protected, and seemingly decreasing case counts, this is a crucial time to double down on the mitigation measures (distancing, masking and hygiene) shown to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  As we have already seen, less people ill from this virus also translates to a better business environment. Let’s begin the new year hopeful that these vaccinations and everyone’s continued hard work will finally bring a much-needed reprieve from this illness.

Below is an updated, brief summary of the Carbon County COVID-19 vaccination rollout. We are following MT DPHHS criteria for allocation of vaccines consistent with guidance from the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP.) Vaccination schedules depend on state vaccine availability, critical infrastructure groups, and those most at risk for severe disease from COVID-19. 

  • Phase 1A -Frontline Healthcare Workers, Long Term Care staff and residents.
  • Phase 1B – age 70 years and older, American Indians and other people of color who may be at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications, and persons aged 16-69 with high-risk medical conditions. Click here for a list of qualifying medical conditions.
  • Phase 1C -Frontline Essential Workers, persons 60 years and older, individuals residing in congregate care and correctional facilities, and persons aged 16-59 with medical conditions not listed in phase 1B. Click here for the list of those medical conditions.
  • Phase 2 – everyone else over 16 yrs. of age.

Please remember that vaccinations are still limited and Carbon Alert will update vaccine information when possible. We appreciate your patience!!!

Carbon County Public Health has developed a public survey that you can fill out to express your interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccination when it becomes available. This survey will gather contact information and will allow Public Health to contact those interested when they are ready to schedule them. 

Please go to to complete the survey.

Thank you,

Bill George MD, Carbon County Public Health Officer


Other helpful links:

CDC/MT DPHHS Phased COVID-19 Vaccine distribution and other info:

CDC guidance for people at increased risk:


Local Mandates....

Contact: Bill Bullock

Phone: 406-446-1595



                Carbon County Health Officer, Dr. William George, rescinded local COVID-19 Health Orders effective 12:00 pm (noon) on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Carbon Public health restrictions will default to the restrictions set by the State of Montana.

                The Carbon County Board of Health continues to recommend that Carbon County businesses and residents continue to be diligent in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Personal responsibility for your health and your interactions with others is critical in the fight against COVID-19.

Actions you can take to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce the severity of the illness, should you contract it, include: practicing social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, eating well balanced and nutritious meals to support you body’s natural immune system, engaging in physical activity daily (even if it is jus a walk outside in the fresh air), staying home and away from others if you don’t feel well, and wearing masks in public spaces. These actions are recommended until the local COVID-19 situation changes and state and national guidelines change.

***As of 12:00 pm (noon) on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 Carbon County MT does not have a local masking mandate. At this time Carbon County is following The State’s mask mandate from Governor Gianforte, which is still in effect. More information can be found at…  *** 

Carbon County COVID-19 Situation Updates

Situation Updates and Letters from

Dr. Bill George,

Carbon County Public Health Officer

When vaccines arrive, Carbon County will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations to persons included in Montana’s 1B Phase Group. This initial phase targets those most at risk for severe COVID disease. Generally, it includes anyone 70 years of age and older, people of color including Native Americans and other at-risk groups and those ages 16-69 years old with any of the nine listed high-risk medical conditions.

The vaccination process will look very different than receiving a flu shot. Limited supply arriving weekly will require to be placed on a list of vaccine interest, which will be notified via email or phone in the order you were placed on the list.

Phase 1B is a large group and will take several weeks to complete. Hopefully, Montana will begin vaccinating this group in the next two weeks. You may be called sooner if vaccines are available. There are three local organizations (see below) providing COVID-19 vaccines. Please, do not join more than one vaccine list. Thanks everyone for your patience. I am sure there will be important updates involving vaccine supplies, side effects and efficacy. We will do our best to keep you informed.

COVID-19 Carbon County vaccine providers:

-Carbon County Public Health. Vaccine interest survey (preferred) located at the top of this page. If unable access this form, or difficulty filling out call 446-9941 between the hours of 10am – 12-pm, Monday through Friday.
-Beartooth Billings Clinic. Call 406-446-2345, 7am-6pm Monday through Friday.
-Riverstone Health Clinics in Bridger and Joliet. call 406-662-3740. 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday.

Bill George MD, Carbon County Public Health Officer

Carbon County Public Health sadly reports another death due to COVID-19. The female age 103, brings the total death count to nine. Our deepest condolences to her family. Residents are asked to please continue to take precautionary measures around high-risk populations. Social distancing, hand washing, and masking up all help reduce the spread of the virus. Please continue checking for the latest COVID-19 information and statistics.

Carbon County Public Health reports another death due to COVID-19. The victim, a female in her 50’s, brings the total death count to eight. Please keep her family in your thoughts as we continue through the holiday season and into the new year. Public Health encourages you to remain mindful of precautionary measures including social distancing, masking up, and hand washing to avoid another spike in cases. 

Yesterday, a second COVID-19 vaccine was approved for Emergency Use by the FDA. Like the Pfizer vaccine, this vaccine, manufactured by Moderna, is a mRNA vaccine – described in the last update. Vaccine efficacy is over 95% after the second shot is received. Initially, it is reserved for those 18 yrs and older. Shipments will begin this weekend and we expect  vaccines to arrive in Carbon County in 1-2 weeks.

This vaccine is not as temperature sensitive, and therefore easier to store and distribute in smaller communities. The first phase of local vaccinations will be available to hospital staff, and those who work in emergency services including, ambulance, fire and law enforcement. High risk institutional residents and their staff will also be prioritized.

Vaccine rollouts, and delivery continues at record speed but the demand is great worldwide. Estimates on availability to the general public seem to agree on a timeline of this spring. On the positive side, that delay will give time for more data on efficacy and possible delayed side effects.

I mentioned that I would share my (and colleagues) experience with the Pfizer vaccine. We all noticed a short lived, injection site mild pain, while a few folks noted fatigue and a mild headache. Apparently, the data shows more side effects after the second shot.

Remember……Vaccines don’t end pandemics, vaccinations do!

Stay safe everyone and have a great Holiday season.

Bill George MD

Carbon County Public Health Officer

Ten months ago, on March 13, 2020, COVID-19 was first confirmed in a Montana resident. This week, the first vaccine to be approved for Emergency Use (EU) will arrive in Montana. There is a lot of excitement for COVID -19 vaccines as it may mean the beginning of the end for this pandemic, however, the unprecedented speed of vaccine development has caused concerns of safety and efficacy for many people. I hope these next several updates help with your decision whether to get vaccinated. There are several COVID-19 vaccines in development – differing in how they achieve immunity. We will try to keep you up to date on relevant data as it is being gathered and/or point you to credible resources which will keep us all informed in an easy-to-understand format. Health care providers working with COVID-19 patients are prioritized to be vaccinated. My research into the Pfizer vaccine (1st to be approved), and the independent process for emergency approval has given me the confidence to be vaccinated. I plan to share my own experience with the vaccine, along with feedback from my colleagues.

  • It is thought that at least 70% of people will need immunity either from the COVID vaccine or natural immunity from previous infection to achieve herd immunity and break widespread transmission.
  • Conventional vaccines work by exposing someone to a weakened or killed virus or piece of virus, causing a defense response (antibodies) which will attack the live virus if exposed. The first 2 vaccines available (Pfizer and Moderna) are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. These vaccines will direct your body to create a COVID -like spike protein which then your body will create a defense response against. Evidence suggests this process creates a safer and more precise vaccine. Although mRNA vaccines have been studied for many years, this is the first commercial large-scale use of this type of vaccine.
  • These mRNA vaccines have been shown to be approx. 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease. Although large populations were studied, the short time frame for follow up (2 months) left many questions unanswered – ongoing monitoring of vaccine recipients will likely resolve these.
  • Studies are ongoing to determine the duration of time the immunity lasts after the two-shot sequence as well as any delayed side effects that may occur from the vaccine. In addition, vaccine developers are continuing to study how easily an immunized person can transmit the virus if exposed. Finally, the vaccine has not yet been adequately studied in children and therefore not recommended for those under 16 years of age.
  • Details on vaccine supplies for Montana, timelines and priority groups should be available soon.

I know there is much more to discuss concerning these first vaccines, including potential side effects. A good, updated resource is the FAQ concerning COVID-19 vaccines by Mayo Clinic:

As you investigate and follow the rollout of these vaccines, please expect to hear disinformation from individuals and groups who oppose all vaccines. Reliable ongoing evidence of safety and efficacy will be available – remember, anecdote and evidence are not the same thing.

The end of a memorable 2020 finally brings hope to communities and health systems continuing to struggle the effects of this virus and the measures to control it. These new vaccines are a remarkable achievement that I believe may help finally put this pandemic behind us.

Bill George MD, Carbon County Public Health Officer

This is an important update for close contacts to positive COVID-19 patients. As we continue to learn how COVID-19 is transmitted by those without symptoms but have been designated a close contact to a positive COVID person, CDC has now reduced the quarantine period from 14 to 10 days. In other words, it seems that the risk of transmitting the virus after 10 days is small for those who continue to have no symptoms throughout that time. Remember, Day 0 in your count to 10 is the day that you were last exposed to the positive person. After 10 days you are still advised to watch for symptoms closely and practice the usual mitigation measures including masking in public, hand hygiene, avoiding crowds and high-risk individuals.

The other important news in this topic is that the 10 days discussed above can be shortened to 7 days. This is done by getting a test (PCR or rapid test) on at least day 5 of your quarantine. If this is negative and you still have no symptoms at day 7, then you are good to go – of course watching for symptoms closely and being careful with mitigation. Certainly, this path to 7 days assumes there is capacity of personnel and testing supplies for this purpose, and results are available in 48 hours from day 5. We will continue to prioritize using our tests to diagnose COVID -19 in symptomatic people.
Overall, considering the social, emotional, and economic harm of quarantine, this is good news for the management of the disease. We will continue to strive for the best access for quality testing with rapid results, which is crucial in our work to suppress this prevalent illness in our county, state, and nation.
This is the CDC link for this new update:…/scientific-brief-options-to…

Bill George MD, Carbon County Public Health Officer

Carbon County Public Health is reporting 3 additional deaths of Carbon County residents due to COVID-19: Two males, ages 77 and 56 and one female age 89. The families and friends of these residents have our deepest sympathy of their loss to this tragic illness.

As expected with our rapidly increasing infection rate, we have numerous residents presently hospitalized due to COVID -19. Please keep these patients, as well as the families who are grieving their loss in your thoughts and prayers during this holiday season.

The recent devasting effects of this new illness in Montana and nationwide can bring a sense of futility to our situation. Please remember, these injuries and deaths are preventable and not inevitable. Careful attention to mask wearing, distance, and avoiding groups outside of your households will bring our infection rate down appreciably. This will create a safer environment for our most vulnerable, assure an open economy and operating schools as we wait for effective vaccines.  

Bill George MD, Carbon County Public Health Officer


Food and Essentials Resources

Church of the Rockies can help with picking up shopping, posting mail, and urgent supplies for those who are self-isolating. 

Call or text 406-425-4390 Leave a message, checking messages daily 


The Food Bank is open with modified access. Hours are the same.

The Board of Directors at BareTooth Cupboards is going to extra lengths and taking extra precautions to protect the health and safety of our volunteers and our customers.

The food bank will only be accepting “call in” orders from their customers beginning Thursday 3/26/20. No customers will be allowed in the store. Volunteers are available at regular hours to take orders and get food to people. 

See their website for more information and for an order form. 

BareTooth Cupboards

For the near a future, we will be accepting cash donations only, no food donations. Hopefully, we’ll be able to lift that restriction before too long but it’s necessary for now. Check Facebook for updates.

Located at 17 East 11th Street, Red Lodge, MT 59068
Phone: 406-446-1255
Hours: Monday & Wednesday 11:00-1:00. Tuesday & Thursday 3:00-5:00. Saturday 9:00-11:00

2nd and 4th Wednesday 9:30am – 11:30am call 406-662-1060 for details

The Joliet Food Pantry, located at 200 State Street in Joliet, is open most Mondays (excluding holiday Mondays and the 5th Monday of every month) from 9 to 1pm, and is here to serve those in need with monthly food baskets. It is required to some form of photo ID on the first visit, and some sort of statement that advises you are a Carbon County resident (i.e. utility bill.) With COVID-19 concerns, we have instituted a policy to keep everyone safe. When you arrive to the food bank, a mask must be worn upon entering the building. Please contact Stacey at 698-0275 or Ali at 672-7398 with questions.

Red Lodge Drug has reserved 9am  – 10 am for Seniors and High risk patrons. 

Please call 406-446-1017 for more information 

Harvest Hope School Food Pantry is delivering weekly food boxes to families of our students. If you would like a weekly grocery box please leave a message on the Red Lodge high school phone . (446-1903) or email

WIC services are still provided for Carbon County. Please call Riverstone Health WIC 406-247-3370 as their office is closed and employees are working remotely. You can also refer to for more information.


Church of the Rockies, COVID-19 Community Assistance – Community Announcement

Dear Carbon County,

Over the last several years the Church of the Rockies has provided free community meals we call “Common Ground” to both Red Lodge and Roberts. Recent events have caused us to change the format of these meals. Although we can no longer meet together, we would like to offer free boxes with all the ingredients for your family’s dinner during this season.

If you would like us to deliver a box to your door, please don’t hesitate to contact Jon Milligan at 406-425-4390. When you call, you can specify the number of people and any allergies. 

We are also available to deliver groceries, do your shopping, and help fill other needs as they arise.

God Bless!

The Church of the Rockies

Mental Health and Crisis Resources

For Montanans who live far away from services, there are few options for receiving support for mental illness without traveling long distances. Since 2009,  Mental Health America of Montana has created a “Virtual Drop-in Center,” which utilizes the telephone and internet to provide home-based support services for people with mental illness.

The Recovery Line is for people with a mental illness who want to talk to a peer (that is, a person who is in recovery for his or her own mental illness) about issues they are facing in their lives or with their treatment. It provides a friendly and understanding person for those who just need someone to talk to.

The Recovery Line is NOT a crisis line. However, responders of the Recovery Line can refer people who are considering suicide or are otherwise in crisis to appropriate services. Through three-way calling, they can get emergency or crisis services on the call immediately.   

  • Call to start your Recovery today: 1(877) 688- 3377



Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS)serves Carbon and  Stillwater

HELPLINE: (406) 425-2222

DSVS Webpage


Mental Health America COVID-19 – Information and Resources

COVID-19 NAMI Resource and Information Guide

Parenting Montana – Provides easy-to-use parenting tools to support your child’s success from kindergarten through the teen years and includes information on topics such as stress, back-talk, meltdowns, creating routines, homework, and discipline, which may concerns during this stressful time.

Top Ten Tips Families During COVID-19

Stress and Coping

Stress, Resilience, and the Role of Science: Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19

For More Information on Behavioral Health COVID-19 Resources visit SAMHSA Website

Nationwide and Global Resources

Carbon County has started to receive COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccinations have begun for Phase 1A and now 1B. Please refer to the Montana Vaccination Map below for up-to-date vaccination numbers, which include Carbon County residents who have travelled to other counties to receive the vaccination.

Click here to view the Montana Vaccination Map (please click on Carbon County to view the statistics.)