By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s coronavirus-related hospitalizations have continued to rise over the last month, hitting levels this week not seen since January.
On Wednesday, 84 patients were hospitalized across the state with the coronavirus, the majority of which were in the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (21) and the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper (18), according to the Wyoming hospitalization tracker.
Each of those hospitals also had 10 patients in their intensive care units, but just because someone is in the ICU doesn’t mean they have the virus. Only about half of the state’s ICU beds are available, but only nine of the state’s more than 250 ventilators are in use.
The last time Wyoming had more than 80 patients in the hospital with the virus was the middle of January.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the state have steadily trended upward since the end of June.
As of Wednesday, the number of active coronavirus cases in the state topped 1,300, the highest number seen since Jan. 31. Laramie County had the highest number of active cases in the state, 274, followed by Natrona County with 144.
The percentage of coronavirus tests showing a positive result has also trended up in recent weeks, reaching 19.9% on Wednesday.
Banner Health, the health system that owns the Wyoming Medical Center and a number of other medical facilities in the state, announced late last month that all of its employees would be required to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Nov. 1 or they would be terminated from their jobs.