By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Although the number of coronavirus cases and related deaths have increased dramatically in Wyoming over the last four months, the rate of deaths attributed to the illness has actually fallen by about half, according to Wyoming Department of Health figures.
Figures from the department’s coronavirus information website show that as of Thursday, the 176 deaths of Wyoming residents tied to the virus amounted to a fatality rate of 0.8% of confirmed cases. That equals about one death for every 125 laboratory-confirmed cases.
The rate is lower than that seen in mid-July, when the 24 reported deaths amounted to about 1.5% of those testing positive for the disease — about one death for every 67 positive cases.
Wyoming’s rate of deaths among those infected with coronavirus is far below the national rate. The Centers for Disease Control reported that as of Monday, about 2.1% of those infected with the virus have died.
The rate of coronavirus-related deaths among Wyoming’s population as a whole as of Thursday was 0.03% — three one-hundredths of one percent, about one death for every 3,288 people.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people testing positive for the illness has increased steadily since July.
In mid-July, the rate of positive results for tests taken over a 14-day period was 2.9%, a number that fell to 2% in September before climbing steadily to grow to 15.2% as of Thursday.
Nationally, John Hopkins University of Medicine reports a positive test rate of 9.8% over a seven-day period.
Also increasing steadily in Wyoming has been the number of tests conducted each day. On July 16, 1,102 tests were conducted and 3.14% were positive. On Nov. 16, 16.9% of the 5,061 tests conducted returned a positive result.