CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming hospitals saw an overall decrease in the total number of COVID-19 patients on Tuesday but multiple hospitals are dealing with a shortage of available intensive care unit beds.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wyoming dipped down to 212 on Tuesday, September 14, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. That is down from 217 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday and down from the most recent peak of 233 hospitalizations seen on September 8.
While hospitalizations have dipped somewhat in recent days, four hospitals had no available intensive care unit beds on Tuesday and five hospitals had only one open ICU bed, according to the WDH.
Article continues below...
The following hospitals had zero available ICU beds on Tuesday:
- Campbell County Memorial Hospital
- Cody Regional Health
- Powell Valley Healthcare
- SageWest Health Care-Lander
These hospitals had only one available ICU bed on Tuesday:
- Cheyenne Veterans Affairs Medical Center
- Ivinson Memorial Hospital (Laramie)
- Johnson County Healthcare Center
- Memorial Hospital Converse County
- South Lincoln Medical Center
The Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, which had 46 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, had only two of its 25 available ICU beds unoccupied, according to the WDH.
9 of the 22 ICU beds at the Wyoming Medical Center were open on Tuesday. The WMC had 44 total COVID-19 patients.
About 68% of the total ICU beds in hospitals across the state were full on Tuesday, according to the WDH. While ICU beds are not exclusively used to treat COVID-19 patients, when hospitals deal with surges in these patients, that can put a strain on their ability to care for other types of critical-needs patients.
As COVID-19 hospitalizations have come down slightly in Wyoming, the vaccination rate has slightly ticked up. The percent of people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 increased to 36.49% as of Monday, according to the WDH. That is up from 35.91% as of September 7.
The WDH reiterated last week that getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 reduces the risk of hospitalization.
“Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that those who are fully-vaccinated have a dramatically reduced risk of requiring hospitalization for a coronavirus infection,” the WDH said. “To find a vaccine location near you, visit vaccines.gov or call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233.”
With hospitals dealing with high numbers of COVID-19 patients, the WDH announced last Wednesday that Governor Mark Gordon had allocated $30 million in federal funding to help address staffing challenges at Wyoming hospitals and healthcare facilities as COVID-19 continues to surge.
The funding will be available to help provide staffing relief, support existing healthcare staff and secure traveling medical staff.
Gordon has said that he will not be issuing any statewide mask or vaccine mandates as he would prefer to leave it up to local school districts and health officials to determine what the best course of action suited to that locality is.
Both Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon are fully vaccinated. While he said in August that getting vaccinated is an “intensely personal choice,” Gordon also encouraged people to consider getting vaccinated.
“Get vaccinated if you are willing,” he said.
The WDH reported an additional 39 COVID-19-related deaths among Wyoming residents on Tuesday. 918 Wyoming residents have reportedly died after contracting COVID-19 since the pandemic began. These are deaths that have COVID-19 listed as either the underlying or primary cause of death or as a contributing cause of death, the WDH explains.
The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.