Teton County cleared a new pandemic milestone on Monday, with more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases reported in the past week.
From Jan. 4 to Jan. 10 the Health Department saw 1,052 total cases, a 58% increase in new cases from the previous 7-day period. Public Health Director Jodie Pond said the actual number of infections is undoubtedly higher.
Cases in children aged 5 to 18 are spiking by more than 300%, she said, referring to new data she's planning to present alongside Teton District Health Officer Dr. Travis Riddell at tonight's school board meeting.
Pond attributed this record surge in Jackson infections to the highly infectious omicron variant.
"If you come in contact with omicron — vaccinated or unvaccinated — you're most likely going to become positive," she said. "Nobody is being spared at this point."
That's demonstrated by the way household contacts are "almost universally" testing positive, Pond said.
Public health epidemiologist Shane Yu said on Monday the chances of getting COVID in Jackson have never been higher.
Officials note the silver lining that omicron infections are typically more mild, especially for vaccinated people. So far, hospitalizations have increased only slightly with this surge.
But testing and contact tracing efforts continue to be foiled by shortages. Rapid tests were already in short supply when Teton was the only county statewide experiencing a surge. Now, Pond said, local test orders are going unfilled as other Wyoming counties make requests.
As for contact tracing, case investigators simply can't reach a daily average of 150 new people, forcing residents to interpret CDC and local recommendations on their own. Pond encouraged everyone with symptoms or a recent exposure to check TetonCountywy.gov/2061/COVID-19 for up-to-date guidance.
On Tuesday, there were 627 known active cases in Teton County, which is 85% vaccinated according to the Wyoming Department of Health. The department does not keep a dashboard of boosted individuals.