St. John's Health

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Teton County has seen its third death associated with COVID-19, and the first to occur at St. John’s Health.

Chief Communications Officer Karen Connelly confirmed the death, saying she learned of it late Sunday but couldn’t provide any details about the person.

The Wyoming Department of Health reported 23 more COVID-19 deaths across the state Monday, bringing the official tally to 280.

The recent Teton County death is not included in that tally, as it was not part of Monday’s report. There is often a lag between when a death occurs and when the state Health Department reports it because of how state officials tabulate deaths.

When someone dies of COVID-19, the physician or coroner indicates the disease was a cause of death on a person’s death certificate, then the Department of Vital Statistics certifies it. Then it is reported to the state Health Department, which publishes it, so a death may take several days to show up in a report.

In Monday’s COVID-19 update, the Health Department reported 24 new cases in Teton County in the past 24 hours. Teton County had a total of 137 active cases, a decline from the mid-November high of 229.

The state had 5,136 active cases of coronavirus Monday, according to Health Department data, a number that has declined at a similar rate as Teton County’s since mid-November. The statewide test positivity rate is 12.96%, well above the 5% level the World Health Organization recommends as the maximum rate for keeping the virus in check.

Hospitalizations remain high both locally and around the state. As of Sunday, St. John’s Health had 11 COVID-19 patients in the primary care unit and one in the intensive care unit.

St. John’s CEO Dr. Paul Beaupre said average stays for patients with COVID-19 have dropped considerably to around 10 days. However, with higher levels of viral spread in the community, patients are cycling in as others recover more often than at any other time during the pandemic.

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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