By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Around 93% of Wyoming’s latest coronavirus-related hospitalizations have occurred among people who aren’t fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the Wyoming Department of Health said Friday.
As of Thursday, 70 people were hospitalized across the state with the coronavirus, according to the Wyoming COVID hospitalization tracker. The majority of those patients, 33, were in the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.
“Between May 1 and July 19, roughly 93% of those patients in Wyoming who were hospitalized at the time they were interviewed by public health representatives did not report being fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” WDH spokeswoman Kim Deti told Cowboy State Daily on Friday.
The number marks the first time since January that more than 60 people have been hospitalized for coronavirus treatment in Wyoming.
Deti did note that sometimes people are hospitalized after they are interviewed, so the department’s numbers may not reflect the hospitalizations of those individuals. The department also chose May 1 as the look-back date because by then, Wyoming residents would have had “ample time” to be vaccinated after the doses became available to the general population with a good number of supplies, Deti said.
Nearly half of the state’s available intensive care unit beds were occupied, with only 73 of 131 beds in Wyoming available. However, just because someone is in the ICU does not mean they have the virus.
As of Thursday, the state had almost 800 active coronavirus cases, numbers that haven’t been seen in nearly six months. In 2020, Wyoming didn’t hit 700 active cases until September, the beginning of a spike that saw more 11,000 active cases by late November.
Deti told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that health officials believe the more contagious Delta variant and low vaccination rates are contributing to the higher active cases in the state.
Around 32% of Wyoming’s population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.