Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise in Park County, with the number of local residents actively infected with the disease more than doubling over the past two weeks. However, the number of …
Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise in Park County, with the number of local residents actively infected with the disease more than doubling over the past two weeks. However, the number of patients hospitalized with the disease in local facilities has remained in a downtrend so far.
On Wednesday, there were 114 people in the county with confirmed or probable cases of the disease; that was up from 67 active cases the prior week and 43 on Dec. 29.
Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county dropped from seven to five patients over the past week. All five patients were being cared for at Cody Regional Health, according to data compiled by the Wyoming Department of Health.
The number of local COVID patients dropped to two — the lowest level in months — over the weekend before additional sick people were admitted on Monday and Tuesday.
One additional COVID-related death was announced in the county this week, an older man with underlying health conditions who died in December. There have now been 122 deaths among 5,885 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Park County since March 2020.
Park County Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin has said that hospitalizations and deaths typically lag behind a surge in cases. However, it’s unclear what impact the new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus will have on local cases; Billin says early data from other areas indicates the variant will lead to more infections, but with a lower rate of severe illness.
Last week, the Department of Health said the Omicron variant is spreading quickly in the state and nation.
“We are currently seeing big jumps in Wyoming’s case counts again, likely due to the Omicron variant. This is again not like the COVID-19 we have become familiar with because it spreads much more easily between people,” said State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist. She encouraged eligible adults and children to become vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, saying the vaccines are the best tool to protect against severe illness.
In Park County, 12,565 residents — or 43% of the population — were fully vaccinated as of Monday, below the state average of 43.9%.
— By CJ Baker