COVID cases climbing

Alexis Barker

Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor


With 75 confirmed cases in the past 14 days and a COVID-19 test positivity rate of 40%, Weston County Health Services CEO Maureen Cadwell said the community must be aware that the illness remains in our community and that people who are instructed to quarantine should comply. 

“We had one day last week where
the testing positivity rate was greater than 85%, which is the highest I’ve ever personally witnessed,” Dr. Sara Thurgood reported. 

The increase in case numbers, according to Cadwell, Thurgood and the Wyoming Department of Corrections, corresponds to outbreaks in various populations, including hospital and clinic staff, Manor residents and employees, and employees and inmates at the Wyoming Honor Camp. Thurgood noted that she has also seen a number of teachers and kids out due to the illness and that in a community our size, this does create quite the disruption. 

“We continue to have several staff members out with COVID-positive tests, some with symptoms and some without symptoms, and some that are vaccinated and some not,” Cadwell said. “We have also had positive COVID tests in our residents at the Manor.” 

According to Cadwell, the uptick in case numbers has also resulted in an increase in the number of patients visiting the emergency room with COVID and other respiratory illness symptoms. In addition to emergency room visits, the Wyoming Department of Health is reporting two current COVID-19 patients at Weston County Health Services and another 122 patients in hospitals across the state. 

“While delta put the hospital in a real bind back in the fall, we are not seeing nearly as many COVID related hospitalizations this time,” Thurgood added, noting that the Omicron variant seems to be more contagious but less severe. 

Thurgood did say, though, that vaccination is as important as ever because Omicron appears to be affecting younger children much more significantly than previous variants, and every hospital report she has seen so far indicates that kids who end up hospitalized or even dying from COVID are all unvaccinated, to date. 

“For adults, three doses of either Pfizer or Moderna will reduce your odds of hospitalization from Omicron and its sub-variants by 88%,” she said. 

“I just hope the severity remains lessened with Omicron, as we seem to be seeing in larger areas,” Thurgood said. “The issue lies less with severe disease and death this time and more with the disruptions cause by having so many people sick all at once. I pray that’s all it comes to.”



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