The New York Times coronavirus dashboard shows Teton County leading the nation in daily COVID-19 cases.

With a daily average of 539 cases per 100,000 residents, Teton County beats out Miami-Dade, Florida, and New York City with 525 and 472 average daily cases per 100,000, respectively.

Those counts are just one measure of impact, calculated from state and local health agency data reported in the last seven days, the dashboard states. But they put the region's hyperbolic surge in perspective.

Infections throughout the nation are spiraling higher than any other point of the pandemic because of the omicron variant's staggering ability to dodge immunization and prior infections. In both Teton County and the U.S., daily cases counts are more than double last winter's surge.

So far, Wyoming is faring better than its tourist capitol, with only 85 cases per 100,000. But that's still a 352% increase in the past two weeks. On Thursday, the Wyoming Health Department announced omicron is now the most common cause of COVID-19 infections statewide.

Teton County's current case average represents a 576% increase over two weeks. Local health officials don't anticipate a peak until mid-February.

To help folks track infections and protect the community, Teton County Health Department continues to offer free Vault tests at the 460 East Pearl Ave headquarters, and online.

Due to staff capacity limits, rapid tests are recommended only for residents with symptoms.

Public health recommendation No. 12 suggests people should still wear masks indoors, especially if they are unvaccinated or have a weakened immune system. Health officials also recommend that people order a KN95 mask, which likely does a better job filtering out omicron particles.

With omicron seeming to cause less severe illness, some health officials are more interested in hospitalization numbers than rising cases.

St. John's Health COVID dashboard shows an uptick from one to two COVID-19 patients a week ago to eight cases on Thursday and seven on Friday. Few patients have required treatment in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Because Wyoming and Idaho remain the least vaccinated states, hospitalizations could soon become more of a problem.

Contact Evan Robinson-Johnson at 732-5901 or

Evan Robinson-Johnson covers issues residents face on a daily basis, from smoky skies to housing insecurity. Originally from New England, he has settled in east Jackson and avoids crowds by rollerblading through the alleyways.

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(1) comment

Tom Henry

but no masks in school?

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