Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round blue objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus shown was isolated from a patient in the U.S.

As the per-capita rate of COVID-19 cases in Jackson Hole climbs, community leaders are beginning to feel the impacts on health care services, including virus testing capacity, public hotlines and telehealth.

Teton County’s per capita rate of infection rose to 47.5 cases per 100,000 as of Monday, up from 39 on Friday. Another metric trending in a negative direction is testing capacity, which Teton County Director of Health Jodie Pond said has been moved to “concerning.”

“We are maxed on testing right now,” Pond said. “The hospital really doesn’t have much more capacity for the rapid testing.”

Most tests are being sent to private labs, with results taking five to seven days, which is too long, she said.

St. John’s Health has felt the pinch of increasing case numbers through high volumes of phone inquiries and telehealth visits.

St. John’s coronavirus hotline answered a record 258 calls a week ago Saturday, “the highest volume we’ve experienced since the line was created in March,” hospital CEO Paul Beaupre said Friday. Video and phone telehealth visits are numbering 50 to 80 per day.

(7) comments

Richard Elder

Heck of a country we live in. Six months after the Pandemic began we still don't have adequate testing to determine whether one really is infected. The American passport is the most shunned in the world, having come to represent the world center for COVID deaths.

Almost all of the masks (AKA face diapers) we are ordered to wear (sometimes under the threat of fine or imprisonment) are totally ineffective. In reality little more than fashion statements or training for public muzzling. The country can't even produce the N95 masks that actually work at 95% effectiveness, preferring to keep them out of the hands of the general public and import those that do trickle in from China as they unload their excess or defective merchandise.

Our Ministry of Public Censorship (AKA Facebook, Twitter & Google) bans all public comment about any forms of treatment that are used successfully in other countries or might escape the medicine-for-private-profit system that allows patent holders to charge any price they can and deny treatment to anyone who can't pay the toll.

Meanwhile the entire country of Cuba, with 11 million population has experienced only 89 deaths from the entire pandemic. It has a universal public health system with 2.7 as many doctors per capita as the US and a 30 year history of developing antiviral medicines to combat tropical diseases. Meanwhile the death toll in New York City (population 8 million) is over 17,000!!!. Heaven forbid that we learn from success.

(Edited by staff.)

Susan Crosser

Did the 1300 tests done on "community testing" day impact on the availability of tests? Did they have an expiration date despite refrigeratation or preservation agents. Could we have ordered them for a later delivery? The day after memorial day simply wasted testing kits

sean henry

testing is maxed out because some locals are seeking testing even thought they show no symptoms. that's due to the contact tracing efforts. you have been told to self quarantine regardless of symptoms and yet we are not going to test you. so you have instilled fear into everyone.go figure.

Dave Wyman

The scuence-based prediction that COVID19 would reach every community has not been refuted. And the claims against wearing a mask are bare-faced less.

Tom Henry

The mayor and town council failed to act promptly. Unfortunately greed trumped caution and vigilance.


They did act originally last winter. Of course, that wiped out the winter economy here. It appears that they expected no one would travel this summer and the business would hurt. They have been taken by surprise by the onslaught of tourists and left dumbfounded. Do they undo the economic healing by limiting access? Hard to do now after the gates have been opened. August reservations are pretty much made. Very hard to set the limit now. Going back to their assumption that the summer would be slow, looks like no one asked the question, "What if?". Looks like they are fallible.

Paul OBrien

Hmmm.... So if typical visitors only stay in the County for less than a week do we even bother to test them? Do they have to stay while waiting for test results?

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