By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s COVID hospitalizations is nearing peak numbers, with hospitals across the state treating more than 200 patients.
As of Tuesday, the state had 230 COVID patients, with Cheyenne Regional Medical Center having the most, with 52 patients, according to the Wyoming hospitalization tracker.
CRMC spokeswoman Kathy Baker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Wyoming hit its peak of COVID patients on Nov. 30, with 247 patients.
Of the hospital’s 25 available intensive care unit beds, only 10 were left for patients. However, just because someone is in the ICU doesn’t mean they have COVID.
Eighty of Wyoming’s 138 available ICU beds were occupied.
The Wyoming Medical Center in Casper followed with the second-most patients, with 45.
Natrona County actually has the highest number of active COVID cases in the state, with 961, with Laramie County following with 647 cases, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
Of Wyoming’s available 260 ventilators, 222 were available. Like with the ICU, just because someone is on a ventilator doesn’t mean they have COVID.
Wyoming public health officials are “very concerned” about the state’s level of COVID-related hospitalizations and the potential impact of care availability in local communities.
“We are very concerned about the level of hospitalizations we have been seeing recently and know high levels of hospitalizations have potential serious impacts on that availability of patient care in our communities,” Wyoming Department of Health spokeswoman Kim Deti told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.
She did not say what states have reached out to Wyoming hospitals to send patients due to overflow, but did note that Wyoming residents are much more frequently transferred to other states for care.
She added that Wyoming does not have a predetermined number of statewide hospitalizations that would trigger a critical care action like Idaho, which implemented a crisis standard on Monday.
Gov. Mark Gordon has continued to refuse to implement a statewide mask mandate despite rising COVID cases and hospitalizations, saying local governments are the better officials to make that decision. So far, only Teton County has implemented a mask mandate, extending it until Dec. 31 last week.