By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Cheyenne’s hospital continues to see a high number of COVID patients since the summer, forcing some emergency patients to be boarded in its emergency room for a time.
Kathy Baker, spokeswoman for Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, said some patients seeking care from the hospital have had to stay in the care rooms of its emergency room for up to a couple of days.
“We have been busy, but that doesn’t mean people should avoid coming to the hospital for an emergency like a heart attack or stroke,” she said. “We have had to board some patients in the emergency department and that could be anywhere from one to two hours or even a couple days.”
There were around 13 patients who were being boarded in the emergency department as of this week, Baker said. While staying in the ER, patients receive the same standard of care as in the hospital’s other rooms.
Baker told Cowboy State Daily that the hospital had 49 COVID patients as of Friday, the majority of whom were unvaccinated against the virus. While the hospital has seen some cases of coronavirus among patients vaccinated against the illness, more of the cases are found among unvaccinated patients.
CRMC has by far the most COVID patients in the state, exceeding by more than 20 the number of patients being treated at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper.
Most of the patients are either from Cheyenne or Laramie County, which currently has the highest case rate of active COVID cases in the state.
As of Thursday, Laramie County had 324 active COVID cases. Natrona County had the second highest number of cases, with 217.
Baker could not really speak to why the Cheyenne hospital has been so busy with COVID patients compared to the rest of the state, but noted that the hospital’s chief nursing officer, pointing to vaccinations among the hospitals COVID patients, concluded that vaccines do work.
“The lack of masking and social distancing, it’s all making for more cases going around,” Baker said.
According to the Wyoming Department of Health, around 43.5% of Laramie County residents are vaccinated.