Park County Amidst New COVID-19 Surge with 115 Active Cases

Park County Amidst New COVID-19 Surge with 115 Active Cases

Written by on August 23, 2021

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Park County, although the Delta variant has yet to become the most common strain in northwest Wyoming.

Dr. Aaron Billin, Park County Public Health Officer, published his latest update on the county’s COVID-19 climate. The doctor’s Facebook page continues to be a valuable resource with the most up-to-date numbers.

In Dr. Billin’s last update, Park County’s case number had suddenly surged. On Sunday, Aug. 15,  the Wyoming Department of Health reported 83 active cases of COVID-19 in Park County.

Courtesy Park County Public Health

A week later – Sunday, Aug. 22 – there were 115 active cases and 14 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Park County.

Numbers don’t lie. Looking at the persistently rising numbers, it appears the county is experiencing a second surge of COVID-19. Side by side, the current surge looks almost identical to the last surge, which began in October 2020 and peaked in late November with nearly 190 cases.

This is the first time since January that there have been more than 100 active cases of COVID-19 in Park County.

Of the 14 hospitalized cases, 10 are in Cody and four in Powell. Also, there has been another victim of the virus – Park County’s COVID death count has risen to 36 people.

When it comes to COVID-19 variants, many are present, but none have taken the place of the original virus – the one that crippled Wyoming last winter. Of the 115 active cases, 23 cases are due to one of the many variants.

  • 1.1.7 UK/Alpha (variant of interest) – 14
  • 1.526 NY/Lota (variant of interest) – 4
  • 1.617.2 India/Delta (variant of concern) -2
  • 1 Brazil/Gamma (variant of concern) – 3

Active cases mean many people will find themselves in COVID-19 quarantine – a necessity that all Wyomingites will still need to if infected, vaccinated and unvaccinated.

Many of the protocols enacted during the first surge – like testing, quarantine, and contact tracing – are still in effect throughout Park County. Last week, Dr. Billin cleared up the confusion by laying out COVID-19 protocols everyone is asked to follow.

  1. After a significant exposure to a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 (being within six feet for 15 minutes or more), unvaccinated individuals are required to quarantine (whether they have symptoms or not).
  2. After a significant exposure, vaccinated individuals who have no symptoms are not required to quarantine. But they must quarantine if they develop symptoms.
  3. There is no benefit to being tested less than 72 hours after a significant exposure if you have no symptoms (due to the virus’s incubation period). Being tested more than 72 hours after a significant exposure helps us identify asymptomatic cases but does not get you out of quarantine early.
  4. Requiring a negative test before going back to work after an exposure serves no purpose, as many will not test positive early in their illness. Completing quarantine (if without symptoms) or isolation (if with symptoms or have tested positive) is what constitutes clearance to return to work, not a negative test.

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