The new approach involves requiring face coverings in certain indoor public settings in all counties, reducing group sizes, and reducing hours of businesses where COVID-19 transmission is more likely to occur. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

WYOMING — COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the state.  As of Sunday, Nov. 8, there have been 646 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours in Wyoming. 45 of those new cases are Teton County residents. 

As cases continue to rise across the county, Pfizer announced today that an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing the novel coronavirus. The announcement does not mean a vaccine is imminent.

Teton County Health officials recently changed the COVID-19 risk level to red, following an increase in cases over the past week. As of today, Teton County currently has 156 active COVID-19 casesThe rate of lab-confirmed cases in Teton County is much higher than the state, at 4,023 per 100,000 compared to the states, 2538.4 per 100,000.

Nine more coronavirus-related deaths among Wyoming residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 have been confirmed, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. The deaths occurred within the last week to last month. The victims were six men and three women, all older adults living in eight different counties. To date, there are 114 confirmed coronavirus related deaths in Wyoming. 

If death certificates do not describe COVID-19 as either causing or contributing to a person’s death, those deaths are not included in Wyoming’s count of coronavirus-related deaths. Deaths among Wyoming residents who passed away in other states are not counted in both states.

In Teton County, Wyoming the mask ordinance has again been extended through Nov. 30. In Teton County, Idaho, COVID-19 cases also continue to increase, Health officials released and urgent public health advisory notice on Monday, Nov. 9.

On Nov. 8, Teton County, Idaho reached a record high of 48.6 in its active rate per 10,000 people. Should the active rate continue to increase at the current trajectory, Teton County will be in the Critical Risk category by mid-week, warned health officials. The Critical Risk category is the highest warning level and indicates that community spread is at a tipping point. For the week of Nov. 1st, the positivity rate rose to 25%.

Keith Gnagey, CEO for Teton Valley Health said, “Higher positivity and active rates will translate into increased hospitalizations, further taxing the hospitals in our region, which are already operating at or near capacity. Hospitals in surrounding states are also at capacity, which means that the health system may not be able to offer the same level of care to patients in need.”

Officials are reminding people in both states to wear face coverings in public, and private settings when physical distancing of at least 6 ft is not possible and to avoid non-essential errands, gatherings, and trips.

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.