Park County: Highest COVID-19 Case Count Since January 2021
Written by Andrew-Rossi on August 5, 2021
Months of progress seemingly undone, Park County deals with a steady increase of COVID-19 cases while the best solution is readily available: vaccination.
Amidst the surge of COVID-19 and the Delta variant nationwide, Park County has been relatively safe and unaffected. But no longer. In his most recent update, Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin presents a blunt assessment of the county’s COVID climate.
As of Thursday, August 5, there are 46 active cases of COVID-19 in Park County and seven people hospitalized with the virus.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 34 people have died because of a COVID-19 infection.
Numbers this high haven’t been seen since January 2021. Back then, Park County was on the downside of the COVID-19 trend, with a similar number of cases and hospitalizations.
Park County’s peak was reached in late November 2020. At that time, there were nearly 190 active cases in the county, with 14 people hospitalized.
Unfortunately, the current numbers show a similar pattern to those during the initial surge of COVID-19 in northwest Wyoming.
There are 22 COVID-19 variants in Park County, including the extremely contagious Delta variant. Because of its high transmission risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised everyone to wear masks in crowded indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Wyoming State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist has similarly suggested all Wyomingites mask up. While it isn’t a statewide mandate, masks have been proven to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 and other viral conditions like colds and the flu.
On the other hand, Governor Mark Gordon has stated that if Wyoming students are required to wear a mask in class, it won’t be ordered from his office. On Wednesday, August 4, the governor announced he would not impose a mask mandate for Wyoming schools this fall. Instead, he leaves that decision to school districts to make on their own.
So, what’s the key to prevention? Vaccination.
“Although the CDC has recommended mask use indoors for all in areas of high transmission,” Dr. Billin says, “vaccination is the quickest path back to normal.”
Billin points out that Park County is one of 15 Wyoming counties with high COVID transmission. Likewise, he notes that only 36.6% of county residents are vaccinated – “very low,” in his professional assessment.
Medical professionals note that most of the people contracting the Delta variant are unvaccinated. In addition, while the Delta variant has been seen infecting vaccinated people, its symptoms are less severe than when it infects unvaccinated people.
Park County Public Health continues to offer doses of the Pfizer vaccine at its Cody and Powell offices. Signups for the clinics are available on the Park County website. In addition, several other local entities, like Albertsons and Walgreens, have their own vaccines doses available.
You can review Dr. Billin’s full post on the current COVID-19 situation on the Park County Public Health Officer Facebook page.