COVID cases extremely high in Teton County, Health Department suspects Omicron

Teton County Health Department says that new COVID-19 cases continue to increase sharply over the last week and are extremely high.

From December 29, 2021, through January 4, 2022, there were a total of 734 cases reported and during the last two weeks, nearly 16% of tests taken were positive.

Local health officials say the St. John’s Health Emergency Department, St. John’s Health Urgent Care clinics, and other medical providers are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Even though most of those patients are not being hospitalized, officials say that the still do require medical care while COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are beginning to rise.



It was reported that case tracing teams are also overwhelmed as is COVID-19 testing capacity.Authorities expect positive test results to continue to rise for the next several weeks.

There has yet to be a confirmed case of the Omicron variant in Teton County, but while they await results from the genetic sequencing of COVID-19 positive tests, the Teton County Health Department believes we are having an Omicron surge in our community.

Teton County Health Director, Jodie Pond, MPH, said, “We strongly encourage all community members to follow our recommendations. These are the same preventative measures we have recommended before. We know that they work, and we are asking you to please help do your part. The Teton County Health Department is operating at the highest level we can to serve our community during COVID-19. At this time our COVID vaccine clinic and our testing supplies allocated from the Wyoming Department of Health are at capacity due to staffing restraints and current allocation amounts. Testing supplies and demand for testing are exponentially increasing across the entire U.S. and we are seeing these effects in our community. Please be patient with us as we navigate through this new stage in the pandemic, the Omicron surge.”



To read the entire recommendation please visit, http://www.tetoncountywy.gov/2064/Current-Health-Orders-and-Guidance.

Teton County Health Department recommendations are:

  • _Avoid crowded indoor spaces and events.
  • _Wear the best mask you have in public indoor settings including but not limited to schools, childcare facilities, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, grocery stores, retail stores, aerial trams, gondolas, and workplaces. Consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor setting and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation and while indoors at transportation hubs. This may include a surgical mask, KN95 mask or more.

Please visit, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/masks.html to learn more.

 

  • _If you own or run a bar or restaurant, consider closing at 10pm.
  • _Get Vaccinated and Get Boosted! The COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection we have against severe COVID-19, hospitalization, and death. Though breakthrough cases are occurring the vaccine is doing its job at drastically reducing the risk of severe illness. Booster doses for the COVID-19 vaccine are now recommended for those ages 12 and up. Please visit our webpage, www.tetoncountywy.gov/covidvax for clinic times, to book an appointment, and more.
  • _Stay home when you are sick. If you are sick, please test. The testing capacity in Teton County is overwhelmed. Please save the no-cost rapid Curative tests for those in our community who are sick and need to know their results quickly. At this time if you are asymptomatic and need a test because you were exposed, for traveling, work, or administrative purposes, please use the no-cost curative kiosks or a no-cost vault test. To see all the testing options in Teton County please visit, www.tetoncountywy.gov/testing.
  • _If you test positive, please isolate, and trust your test results. The likelihood of a false positive test result is extremely low. Many people in our community are sick and need tests; please do not add extra burden to the testing system in an attempt to confirm your results. At this time, the isolation requirements have changed to be only 5 days (day 0 is the day your symptoms start or the day you test positive). If you are either asymptomatic (have no symptoms) or your symptoms are resolving (including no fever for at least 24 hours without medications and other symptoms are improving) continue to stay in isolation. Please wear a mask for the following 5 days after the end of your isolation period. If your symptoms are not improving, please continue to stay home until your symptoms resolve. To see the latest isolation and quarantine recommendations please visit, www.tetoncountywy.gov/covid.
  • _Increase ventilation in your spaces, open windows, turn on HEPA filters, or meet outside.
  • _Choose your bubble. We know it is challenging to limit your exposure to only your household with work, school, childcare, and other factors. Please do limit the number of people you are exposed to. Avoid social, recreational, and other extracurricular gatherings with those outside of your household.
  • _In the workplace, allow telework as much as possible, implement staggering schedules, wear masks while at work, host meetings virtually, and increase ventilation.
  • _Limit your travel for essential purposes only and self-monitor for symptoms upon return.

 

Please help us help our community reduce the current COVID transmission in our community. It is a community effort. If everyone does a few of these recommendations the larger effect will be seen. For those in the community are looking for a tool to help them determine the level of risk their activities are we recommend using this risk calculator called the microCOVID Project, https://www.microcovid.org/. All of these recommendations can also be found on our metrics page at, http://www.tetoncountywy.gov/2171/Teton-County-Metrics.


 

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