Wyo Health Officials Don’t Know When COVID Will Stop Being Public Health Issue

in News/Coronavirus

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By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily

The number of active coronavirus cases continues to fall in Wyoming, with none of the state’s counties having more than 100 cases and several having active case counts in the single digits.

These figures mark a significant downward trend from the past several months, when the Omicron variant was blamed for pushing the number of active cases in the state to more than 8,000.

As of Thursday, Converse County had the fewest active cases at two, followed by Crook, Hot Springs, Sublette and Weston counties with three each. The highest number of active cases – 91 – was reported in Laramie County.

Hospitalizations affiliated with the COVID-19 virus likewised continue on a downward trend with 62 hospitalizations reported on Thursday compared to 167 at the first of the month.

Wyoming Department of Health officials said they are pleased to see fewer cases and hospitalizations compared to recent weeks, but stopped short of saying when  COVID-19 might no longer be a public health issue.

“At this point, we don’t know for sure what the future will bring related to COVID-19.” Kim Deti, public spokesperson for WDH, said. “However, it is clear at this time that people can still get very sick from COVID-19 and we continue to recommend vaccination and booster doses for everyone.” 

It’s unclear how accurate the active case numbers are throughout the state given that some people are utilizing the free, at-home COVID-19 test kits. There is no system for reporting positive test outcomes to the Department of Health.

“There is not a consistent or reliable way for that information to be collected at this point,” Deti said. “However, that is outweighed by the benefits of individuals being able to test themselves at home.”

Those patients who do test positive are encouraged to follow the same recommendations as those tested by a healthcare professional, Deti added, including staying home and keeping away from other people, especially individuals who may be at higher risk for severe illness. 

So far this season, influenza activity also appears to be going down, Deti said, though those numbers are not reported as accurately as COVID cases. 

Deti noted flu season officially runs from October through May, so those numbers may not remain low for the rest of the year. 

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