31st COVID-19 Related Death Confirmed in Park County

31st COVID-19 Related Death Confirmed in Park County

Written by on June 14, 2021

The latest COVID-19 related death in Park County is a reminder that the virus is still among us, especially with the increasing number of summer tourists.

In his latest COVID-19 update, Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin confirmed another resident has died from complications related to the virus. It’s the 31st death reported in the county overall and the first since March 2021.

As expected, increasing tourism during Summer 2021 is leading to increasing numbers of confirmed cases and hospitalizations. In the past two weeks, 51 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Park County. In addition, there are 155 probable cases in the county.

Of those confirmed cases, there’s one person currently hospitalized with the virus.

COVID-19 Cases 6-13-21

Courtesy Park County Public Health

Several COVID-19 variants are also present in Park County. As of Sunday, June 13, there are three variants present, accounting for over a fifth of confirmed cases.

  • B.1.1.7 UK (a variant of interest) – 10
  • B.1.526 NY (a variant of interest) – 2
  • P.1 Brazil (a variant of concern) – 3

The P.1 Brazil is a “variant of concern” because the strain is more contagious than the original virus and other known variants. A Reuters article says the variant may also be able to evade antibodies, reducing the effectiveness of vaccines.

There’s been between 20 and 30 active cases in Park County since the beginning of May. In addition, there’s an average of three new cases of COVID-19 confirmed every day in the county.

Park County Public Health Nurse Bill Crampton recently asked more county residents to consider getting vaccinated while supplies are ample. Unfortunately, high supply and dwindling demand mean many of the county’s vaccinations risk expiring later this summer if they go unused.

COVID-19 could easily reestablish itself in northwest Wyoming, especially as summer tourism in the area continues to increase.

The most recent spike in Park County COVID-19 cases came from out-of-state visitors. Dr. Billin confirmed that the early May spike of 32 cases was “largely due to the recent arrival of out-of-state individuals who have tested positive.”

Yellowstone National Park confirmed the busiest Memorial Day weekend and the busiest May in the park’s history. Based on current numbers, the park’s visitation is on track to exceed four million people in 2021.

More people means more chances to get exposed to COVID-19 or one of its highly contagious variants. Park County Public Health offers the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines at its Cody and Powell locations.

Overall, there have been 725 deaths related to COVID-19 in the State of Wyoming. There are currently no statewide public health orders in place, although masks are still encouraged in crowded public places.

 


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