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In response to the county remaining in its yellow, low-risk category due to rising cases and community spread, Teton County Library announced that starting Monday it would again require patrons to wear masks.

“Now that our area is considered what the CDC calls a ‘high transmission’ area, we feel we must require masks or endanger our patrons,” Library Director Kip Roberson said in a statement.

Though the county is in the yellow category, a Friday update from the Teton County Health Department said, “We are on the cusp of orange. Any increase in one of the metrics will push us into orange next week.”

Local case numbers remain far lower than during the fall and winter surge, but the increasingly prevalent delta variant, which has now been confirmed in Teton County, worries public health officials. Most of the eight metrics are rated as “improved” or “stable.” Community spread is listed as “critical,” with 61% of cases in the past two weeks having no known origin.

Though the county’s number of cases remains low, the rate is increasing. Between July 15 and 29, 54 local cases were confirmed, a 68.8% increase over the previous two-week period, according to the Health Department update, and the county had 38 active cases as of Friday.

The test positivity rate, a measure of testing capacity, was 4.7%, which is still under the World Health Organization’s recommended maximum of 5%. In its county-level metrics, the Wyoming Department of Health has listed Teton County in the “red” zone, indicating a high level of transmission.

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases continued to climb Friday, reaching a total of 971. The Wyoming Department of Health’s regular coronavirus update showed that 119 new laboratory-confirmed and 53 new probable cases were reported between Thursday and Friday, while 123 new reports of recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases were also received.

The numbers left the state with 971 active cases, an increase of 49 over Thursday.

Laramie County continued to have the highest number of active cases at 197; Natrona County had 106; Fremont County had 75; Campbell County had 69; Sweetwater had 66; Albany had 59; Uinta had 58; Carbon had 47; Converse had 45; Park had 34; Sheridan had 33; Lincoln and Platte had 30; Sublette had 19; Goshen had 18; Big Horn had 16; Weston had 11; Crook had seven; Johnson and Washakie had five; Hot Springs had two, and Niobrara had one.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

New laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in 19 counties, with Laramie County reporting the highest number of new cases at 18. Fremont County reported 15 new cases.

— The Wyoming News Exchange contributed to this report.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

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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