JACKSON, Wyo. — The Teton County Health Department is switching its metrics for determining COVID-19 risk levels to match new framework from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which means Teton County’s risk level has dropped.

Teton County is now at yellow, or medium, risk for COVID-19.

The CDC’s new guidance, released Feb. 25, focuses on community risk level based on three things: new cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days, new COVID-confirmed hospital admissions per 100,000 people over seven days, and percent of inpatient beds occupied with COVID-19 patients averaged over seven days.

The old framework focused on risk of transmission. This one focuses more on severe illness and hospitalization.

The CDC’s new guidance on masking also no longer recommends universal indoor masks for communities with low or medium risk levels, so Teton County District Health Officer Travis Riddell is striking the county’s mask recommendation. Neither the town nor county has had a mask mandate since Dec. 31.

Masks are still required in medical settings. They are also federally mandated on airplanes, busses (including START), ride shares, taxis, and other forms of shared transportation.

Individual businesses may continue to require masks. Individuals may also still choose to wear masks in public.

“Each individual and family has different circumstances,” Teton County Health Department said in a press release. “Please be kind to your fellow community member regardless of their choice to wear a mask or not to wear a mask in public settings; we are all part of the same community.”

The Teton County Health Department’s dashboard and metrics webpage will be updated to reflect these new metrics used to determine the community risk level. The weekly COVID-19 NIXLE messages will also be adjusted to align with the new community risk level.

Teton County Health Department has also provided additional guidance for those in our community who are the most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease, including individuals age 50+, the immunocompromised, individuals with other underlying health conditions, and the unvaccinated.

Buckrail @ Shannon

Shannon is a Wyoming-raised writer and reporter. She just completed a master's in journalism from Boston University. Jackson shaped her into an outdoorswoman, but a love for language and the human condition compels her to write. She believes there's no story too small to tell nor adventure too small to take.