Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

The recent COVID-19 spike in Teton County has affected two groups that have previously been spared the brunt of the caseload: young and old people.

At Friday’s community update, Teton County Director of Health Jodie Pond noted that the recent uptick has disproportionately affected 15- to 19-year-olds and people over 75.

“These are attributable to high school-age students and then what’s going on in the Living Center,” she said.

Eight residents from the St. John’s Health Living Center have been hospitalized due to the disease in the past two weeks, pushing the number of COVID-19 patients in the St. John’s primary care unit to 11.

St. John’s CEO Dr. Paul Beaupre said at Friday’s update that all eight were “medically stable,” which is the same thing he said about them last week. Given their stability and the fact that it has been almost two weeks since the first infected resident was detected, the hospital is starting to consider moving them back into the Living Center.

Any resident who moves from the acute care side of the facility back to the Living Center will need to be asymptomatic and test negative for the virus.

Beaupre recently told the Jackson Hole News&Guide that the hospital doesn’t want to keep any residents with COVID-19 in the Living Center and that they wouldn’t return until they are free of the virus.

“We are not going to make the same mistakes that were made in New York and Seattle,” Beaupre said. “They will not return until we’re absolutely certain that they are not shedding virus.”

Due to the recent cases, the Teton County Health Department has moved the county risk level back into the “red zone.” For information on what that means for individuals, visit and go to the department’s website.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

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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