Novel coronavirus

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (blue) infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Wyoming set all kinds of records Monday. It reported nine more COVID-19 deaths, bringing its total since the pandemic began to 77. The state also had 436 new cases, 387 that were confirmed by lab tests.

Both case counts eclipse the state’s previous records set Friday when there were 381 new lab-confirmed cases and 426 total new cases.

Reports on COVID-19 deaths don’t always come to the Wyoming Department of Health right away. Some of the nine deaths occurred “earlier this month,” according to a department press release, but seven were last week, including five in Big Horn County.

The deaths come as Wyoming has 3,725 active cases. Health Department data shows that Teton County had nine new cases as of 3 p.m. Monday and 49 active cases. Several counties are contending with large outbreaks, including Albany (634 cases), Campbell (434) and Park (295), among others.

Wyoming’s case fatality rate, the percentage of people with either a lab-confirmed or suspected case who die from the disease, remains at roughly 0.67%, well below nationwide rates.

The Casper Star-Tribune also reported that Wyoming has 104 people hospitalized for the disease, a jump of 19 over the weekend. Three of those 104 are at St. John’s Health in Jackson. Two are in the primary care unit and one is in the intensive care unit.

St. John’s reported Monday that it is changing some of the testing protocol at its newest facility. The hospital bought Emerg-A-Care from Dr. Brent Blue over the summer, and it is bringing the clinic in line with its coronavirus testing protocol.

Blue allowed walk-in testing, but the hospital instead asks patients to first call its hotline at 739-4898, ext. 3. From now on, patients, asymptomatic or symptomatic, should call that number to schedule testing, regardless of whether they plan to be tested at the hospital or the clinic.

Those who have been a close contact of a known COVID-19 case can call the Teton County Health Department at 733-6401.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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