Wyoming hospitals see COVID patient count drop under 70; over 33K in Cowboy State get first vaccine dose - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Wyoming hospitals see COVID patient count drop under 70; over 33K in Cowboy State get first vaccine dose

Casper Fire-EMS PIO Dane Andersen, right, is the first person in Natrona County to be vaccinated with the new COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, at the Casper-Natrona County Health Department in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — For the first time in over three months, Wyoming hospitals have less than 70 total COVID-19 patients, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

Wyoming’s COVID-19 hospitalizations fell to 64 on Sunday, Jan. 24, the first time hospitals in the state had less than 70 COVID patients overall since Oct. 18, 2020.

While hospitalizations climbed to 66 on Monday, that number still represents a 73% decrease in COVID hospitalizations compared with the peak of 247 patients Wyoming hospitals saw on Nov. 30, 2020.

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The Wyoming Medical Center had 13 COVID patients on Monday, down 82% from the WMC’s peak of 75 COVID patients on Nov. 25, 2020.

88 of the 133 available intensive care unit beds across Wyoming hospitals were open on Monday, according to the WDH. 241 of 254 available ventilators, which are sometimes used to treat COVID patients, were open.

While COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state have generally been on the decline throughout December 2020 and January 2021, the state has continued to report more COVID-19 related deaths among Wyoming residents.

The WDH reported 21 new COVID related deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 571 since the pandemic began. However, the rate at which deaths have been added to Wyoming’s count has declined in January compared to December, in which a record number of COVID related deaths were reported:

Wyoming has been adding 150 new laboratory confirmed cases of COVID over the past seven days as counties continue their efforts to roll-out COVID-19 vaccinations.

33,481 people across the state had received an initial dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine in Wyoming as of Monday, according to the WDH. 49,550 total first doses have been received in the state.

4,779 people have received two doses of a vaccine. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to offer maximal protection against the virus. Wyoming has received shipments of 21,300 total second doses.

Vaccines are being made available to people based on a phased approach established by federal and state guidelines.

In Natrona County, vaccination appointments are currently available to people 70 years of age and up. Wyoming counties are working their way through Phase 1B of the vaccination prioritization schedule as outlined by the WDH:

Further COVID-19 vaccine information is available from the WDH.

Since hospitals self-report data to the WDH, State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist has said that the WDH data about hospital resources and COVID-19 hospitalizations is best used to track trends in overall COVID hospitalizations or resource availability.

Harrist has said that the data should be considered an approximation of the exact numbers since hospitals self-report the data and the actual statewide numbers could vary slightly.

The Wyoming Department of Health provide data about the number of COVID patients in specific hospitals in the state, but caution that the data is self-reported by hospitals and that “non-general acute hospitals (e.g., rehabilitation hospitals) may report COVID-19 hospitalizations but these data do not always reflect statewide capacity issues.”

Further data from the WDH is available below:

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.