COVID-19 cases fall in Teton County following Jan. spike

JACKSON, Wyo. — On the heels of a recent spike that prompted health officials in Teton County to add another risk level to the COVID-19 scale, active cases have fallen below 100. There were two new cases reported on Feb. 16.

There are currently 98 active cases in Teton County as of Feb. 17. “We have had a lot to be concerned about pretty recently,” said St. John’s Health Communications Director, Karen Connely. Between January 5 and 18, Teton County reported over 540 new cases. This is the largest number of cases within a two-week period to date.

On February 11, Teton County announced that the community was now in the orange level, moderate. The last time the County classified the county at the moderate level was October.

St. John’s Health has also reported two straight days of zero COVID-19 hospitalizations. There has not been a COVID-19 patient on a ventilator since Jan. 28.

“We are on the downside of this spike,” said Connely, “about four thousand people have gotten at least the first dose of the vaccine,” but she added, “we don’t have a high enough herd immunity to let down our guard.”

Teton County has been able to stretch the doses received from the state, so to speak. Only 3,750 first doses have been received but health officials have been able to extend those doses to vaccinate 3,916 people using 104.4% of the doses received. About 1,400 people have received the second dose as of Feb. 16.

With more and more community members receiving the vaccine, pushing the community slowly towards herd immunity, concerns still remain about the variants of the virus.

The UK variant and other emerging variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil continue to raise concerns and spread locally. Teton County Health Official, Dr. Travis Riddell said, “If you have covid you should assume it’s the more contagious strain and you should take actions to try to prevent that spread.” Research suggests that these variants are more transmittable in that smaller doses of the virus can cause the disease.

“Hopefully we will get to a place where fewer people contract the virus and with less severity and fewer hospitalizations,” said Connely.

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