By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
More Wyoming residents were hospitalized for coronavirus treatment Thursday than at any other point during the pandemic, Wyoming Health Department figures showed.
The department, in its regular coronavirus update, said Wyoming’s hospitalis reported 249 people were hospitalized on Thursday, more than at any point since the illness was discovered in Wyoming in March 2020. The previous high number was seen on Nov. 30, when hospitalizations reached 247.
However, the number of active COVID cases in Wyoming on Thursday, 3,547, was well below the number seen on Nov. 30, 8,612.
While the Health Department is not certain of the reason for the higher hospitalization numbers, the increase could be related to the Delta variant, said Kim Deti, a spokeswoman for the department.
The spike could also be the result of people not being tested for COVID, which means they may wait to treat the illness until hospitalization is required, she said.
“One reason avoiding testing is unfortunate is there are treatments available to people who test positive that can potentially keep them from becoming more seriously ill,” she said in an email. “It also affects ongoing transmission.”
In addition, hospitalizations are lasting longer than they did in November, Deti said.
“We are having more cases and more hospitalizations at high levels for a longer period of time than during last year’s peak,” she said. “More cases over more time is certainly likely to be due to Delta variant.”
Casper’s Wyoming Medical Center was treating the highest number of coronavirus patients in the state, 66, while Cheyenne Regional Medical Center was treating 34 and 23 were at the Campbell County Memorial Hospital.