Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

For the first time since the pandemic started, Teton County has entered the “green” risk level.

The Teton County Health Department announced the change Wednesday, saying that improving conditions warranted the shift.

“We are excited to announce this change in our risk level to the community,” Director of Health Jodie Pond said in a press release. “It has been a long journey and we thank our community members for continuing to wear masks and get the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The green risk level is categorized as the “new normal.” It is not a recommended reversion to pre-pandemic behaviors, however.

Instead, the guidance from the Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that people should wear masks in crowded spaces, both indoor and outdoor.

Other recommendations include staying home if you are feeling sick, testing after travel if you are unvaccinated, and maintaining social distance in crowded spaces.

The change to the risk level comes as cases continue to decline in Teton County. As of Tuesday, the county’s seven-day rate of daily new cases was 2.14.

Just 30 new cases were found over the past two weeks, a 39% decrease from the preceding 14 days. That continues a trend of decline that has been the norm over the past couple of months that has been the inverse of the vaccination rate, which has grown steadily.

Though some places are catching up, Teton County is still one of the most vaccinated places in the country, with 55.71% of the population fully protected. Anyone 16 and old can receive the shots, whether by making an appointment at TetonCountyWy.gov or walking into the Health Department’s vaccine clinic.

Another sign of the changing local situation is the announcement that the COVID-19 community update at noon Friday will be the last scheduled one. Representatives from several governmental and community agencies will give presentations.

The update will be streamed live at JacksonWy.gov, where you can click the “Watch a Meeting icon. It will also be broadcast on 89.1 and 96.9, and it will be archived at JHCovid.com.

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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(1) comment

Paul OBrien

Please let us know how the Health Department defines “improving conditions.” Or do they really mean “we don’t want to scare off any tourists?”

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