Novel Coronavirus SARS-Cov-2

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (purple) 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.

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Teton County's COVID-19 community risk level continues to drop.

The Teton County Health Department announced Thursday afternoon that it lowered the risk level from red to orange, or high to moderate. Moderate is the third of five risk levels.

Changing the risk level came "due to continued improvements in some of the local COVID-19 metrics," the department said in a press release.

Cases still remain higher than they were during the spring and summer surges (though low amounts of testing made data from the spring circumspect). However, health officials have seen a steep decline in the past month. 

The Health Department reported 198 new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, a 60% decrease from the 494 reported in the previous two weeks. Since the seven-day average of new cases during the post-holiday spike peaked at 44.3 on Jan. 17, it has dropped to 11.9 as of Wednesday.

The reduced number of new cases has allowed contact tracers to conduct investigations into all cases, which they were unable to do when case numbers were higher. Hospitalizations and the test positivity rate are also down, the Health Department said in its press release. Wastewater surveillance data also indicated a decline in prevalence. 

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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