The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Powell and Cody has dropped over the past two weeks. Data collected by the Wyoming Department of Health shows that number of local hospitalizations …
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Powell and Cody has dropped over the past two weeks. Data collected by the Wyoming Department of Health shows that number of local hospitalizations fell from a peak of 17 patients on Jan. 6 to seven on Wednesday, with six at Cody Regional Health and one at Powell Valley Healthcare.
However, Park County Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin said Sunday that the number of new cases reported each day in Park County has remained “alarmingly high.”
On a per capita basis, Billin said the county has had the second-highest number of new cases in the state, ranking behind only Teton County.
From Jan. 7 through Wednesday, an average of nearly 23 new lab-confirmed or probable cases was logged in Park County each day, according to Department of Health data. Despite some fluctuations up and down, the county’s 14-day rolling average of new cases has remained fairly steady over the past two months.
Meanwhile, distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has remained limited.
Park County Public Health had announced last week that it was pausing new sign-ups due to a lack of doses.
“Currently scheduled clinics are full and new registration is on hold until we receive more vaccine,” Billin said Monday night; he encouraged people to keep checking the county’s coronavirus page for updates, at www.parkcounty.us/CoronaVirus.html.
As of Wednesday, 40,975 initial doses had been received across the state of Wyoming, with 24,837 administered. Another 4,333 Wyoming residents had received their required second doses.
Officials at the CDC have said vaccines will be key to reaching “herd immunity” — the point where enough people are immune to COVID-19 that it becomes difficult for the disease to spread.
“By definition we are not close to herd immunity when daily new cases are nearly at an all time high for the pandemic,” Billin said Sunday.
Health officials have expressed concern about a so-called “UK variant” that was detected in a Teton County man last week. The variant is not believed to be any more dangerous than the original strains of COVID-19. However, evidence shows it spreads more easily, meaning “the number of infections could grow, causing more illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths,” State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said Saturday. “That’s something no one wants.”
Harrist again encouraged Wyomingites to wear masks, to practice social distancing and to stay home when sick.
Most people infected with COVID-19 develop mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, if any, but it can be life-threatening. There have been 17 deaths among the nearly 2,500 confirmed and probable cases of the disease that have been documented in Park County since March. The county’s most recent death was announced Tuesday by the Department of Health, which described the deceased as an older man who lived in a long-term care facility and had underlying health conditions that put him at greater risk of serious illness.