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Wyoming 18th In United States For Vaccinations

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Fourteen-point-six-eight.

That’s the percentage of the population of Wyoming that has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

That places our state 18th in the nation – way ahead of neighboring Utah (which comes in dead last, with less than 10% of its residents receiving the vaccine), but behind Montana, Nebraska and Colorado (9th, 14th and 16th, respectively). 

In a state whose population stands around 582,000, 85,500 of those have been fully vaccinated.

So a year after the virus began to shut down the world, a significant percentage of the population is now considered immune to its effect – but there’s a lot more work to do, according to public health officials in the state.

Wyoming Health Department spokeswoman Kim Deti, in an interview with Cowboy State Daily on Monday, said there is a reluctance on the part of some to get the vaccine.

“We’re confident in the vaccines, we believe that they’re safe. We believe that they work. But we know that it’s natural for some people to have questions about vaccines – that totally makes sense,” she said. 

Bill Crampton is the Public Health Nursing Supervisor in Park County, where the vaccination rate is significantly higher than the statewide average.

As of Monday, more than 13,000 residents have been either fully or partially vaccinated — 43% of the population. He pointed out that despite seeing a slower rollout than many states, Wyoming has done an excellent job of getting vaccines into the arms of the people who need them — in part, he said, because health officials have been conducting flu vaccine clinics for years.

“At a local level, we’ve been practicing this for years, so it’s not like we didn’t know what we were going to do,” he said. “Give us a vaccine and stand back. We’ll get her done. And we’ve done that.”

But now Park County health officials have a problem that’s completely opposite of their initial obstacles: For a clinic that’s scheduled for this Wednesday, fewer than half of the 600 available vaccine appointments for the day have been filled.

Crampton said there may still be confusion in the public about who is eligible for the shots.

“I think we’re reaching that point where there’s still some hesitancy, there’s still some misinformation out there about who’s eligible and what’s available and things like that,” he said.

Crampton noted that because of the availability of the vaccine, health care providers are not being picky when people come to the clinics to request a shot.

“We’re not doing a lot of screening — which is different from what it was early on because of the limited numbers, and we wanted to get our seniors vaccinated,” he explained. “But I gotta tell you, it’s amazing to watch these clinics and see how many seniors are still coming through. Not sure exactly why it’s taken some of them so long to get there. But we’re glad they’re doing it.”

And for anyone who wants the vaccine and hasn’t had it yet, he said, come on in.

“We’re right on the verge of just opening this wide open to the general population,” he said. But there are those who are still hesitant about receiving the vaccine — whether it’s because of misinformation or the fact that there are medical professionals who still haven’t taken it themselves, Crampton said it’s hard to say.

“Some physicians are actually publicly saying that they don’t want their patients to get the vaccine,” he said. “Why? Well, I haven’t been able to determine that. And I know there’s a significant number of people here who have physicians locally who hadn’t gotten the vaccine.”

Deti added that every single adult in the state should get the vaccine as soon as it’s available — and in some places, that’s right now.

“In most places, really, vaccines have been open to anyone,” Deti said. “Availability does vary among counties somewhat, and it’s good to check in to see what the information is, and what is going on in your area.”

So Deti stressed that knowledge is best ally of health care providers.

“What we want to do is make sure that people know how and where to find the answers to their questions,” she said. “And there’s some great resources out there, we’ve tried to highlight them on our website. And we do want to remind people, they’re free as well.”

In Park County, Crampton acknowledged that the vaccine rollout wouldn’t be going this well without the partnership of businesses and organizations throughout the communities.

“Those partners include Billings Clinic, Medical Center Pharmacy, Cody Regional Health, Powell Valley’s Heritage Health, and now we’ve got Walmart, Walgreens,” he said. “And as of this week, the Albertsons pharmacy is also going to start using the vaccine. So we’ve got lots of partners in the community that are helping us make this a success.”

For information about the COVID-19 response in Wyoming, Deti urges residents to go to their website at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/

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Sublette County School District No Longer Requiring Masks

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Pinedale schools are no longer requiring students, staff or board members to wear masks on any of their campuses.

Sublette County School District No. 1 posted on its social media site Sunday that the new rule would take effect on Monday. The district’s schools consist of the elementary, middle and high school in Pinedale.

“Simply stated, no student, staff member or visitor to the district will be required to wear a mask,” the district said.

Gov. Mark Gordon ended the statewide mask mandate on March 16, but his order continues to require the use of masks in public schools.

The decision by Sublette County school trustees to defy Gordon’s order was made during the district’s board of trustees meeting on March 11, when the board passed a motion to eliminate school SMART Start Plans and follow the minimum guidelines set by state public health officers.

However, the motion made an exception for health orders on masks in schools and lifted the requirements.

“The Board would also like to make it explicitly clear that this action does not prohibit wearing a mask by anyone who wishes to do so, and the Board expects all students, staff, parents and community members to respect everyone who chooses to do so,” the district said on social media.

Gordon said his decision to lift the public health orders in place for months reflected the state’s continually improving health metrics and is consistent with his approach of balancing public health with protecting livelihoods.

“I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic,” Gordon said. “It is through their efforts that we have kept our schools and businesses operating and our economy moving forward. I ask all Wyoming citizens to continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent as we look ahead to the warmer months and to the safe resumption of our traditional spring and summer activities.” 

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112 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Monday; 419 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases decreased by 16 on Monday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 165 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 112 new laboratory-confirmed and 4 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 419 active cases, down 16 from Friday

Laramie county reported the most cases, with 78; Fremont and Teton had 60; Sweetwater 51; Uinta 27; Lincoln 26; Natrona 23; Campbell and had Park 13; Carbon 11; Albany and Sheridan had ten; Goshen and Sublette seven each; Converse six; Big Horn five; Crook, Johnson and Platte had three; Hot Springs two; Weston one, while Niobrara and Washakie reported zero.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 55,730 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 54,618 have recovered.

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98 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Friday; 435 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases increased by 27 on Friday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 75 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 98 new laboratory-confirmed and 4 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 435 active cases, up 27 from Thursday.

Teton reported the most active cases, with 78; Fremont had 66; Laramie 64; Sweetwater 54; Uinta 29; Lincoln and Natrona 25; Park 20; Campbell 17; Albany 10; Carbon nine; Goshen and Sheridan seven; Big Horn six; Platte and Sublette five; Crook 3; Hot Springs and Johnson two; Weston one, while Converse, Niobrara and Washakie report zero cases each.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 55,581 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 54,453 have recovered.

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Barrasso Credits Trump For Economic Rebound: “This Is Not Biden’s Recovery”

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso is crediting policies established under the administration of President Donald Trump and the work of congressional Republicans for the economic recovery the nation is seeing.

Barrasso spoke on the U.S. Senate floor Wednesday about the work Republicans have done since the beginning of the pandemic and criticized what he called wasteful spending by congressional Democrats.

“The truth is clear: this is not President Biden’s recovery,” he said. “President Biden inherited three vaccines. President Biden inherited 2 million tests a day for coronavirus. President Biden inherited falling coronavirus numbers. He also inherited a recovering economy.”

Barrasso added that in February, the Congressional Budget Office published a report predicting the U.S. economy would rebound to the same level seen before the pandemic and will do so by the summer.

Barrasso noted the report was released weeks prior to the recently passed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which provided a third round of stimulus checks and millions in aid for state and local governments.

“This was in large part because of the foundation laid by Republicans before the pandemic with President Trump’s economic programs in the White House,” he said. “Republicans cut taxes on the middle class, on job creators. We cut regulations and we cut government red tape. We made a better trade deal with our neighbors. Our agenda worked.”

Barrasso also claimed the Biden administration hasn’t been forthcoming with the American people about its strategies to combat the coronavirus.

“Our recovery was booming under the Republican agenda. It was an agenda of low taxes and fewer regulations. That’s the agenda that the American people need to get our economy booming again,” Barrasso concluded.

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25 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Thursday; 408 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases decreased by 98 on Thursday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 128 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 25 new laboratory-confirmed and 5 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 408 active cases, down 98 from Wednesday

Laramie reported the most cases, with 75; Teton had 74; Fremont 54; Sweetwater 42; Natrona 27; Lincoln and Uinta each had 25; Park 18; Campbell 13; Albany 11; Sheridan eight; Carbon and Goshen seven; Big Horn six; Platte five; Crook and Johnson three; Converse, Hot Springs and Sublette had two each; Weston one; while Niobrara and Washakie shared the distinction of having zero active cases. 

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 55,506 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 54,378 have recovered.

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85 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Wednesday; 506 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases increased by 78 on Wednesday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 19 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 85 new laboratory-confirmed and 12 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 506 active cases, up 78 from Tuesday

Laramie County reported the most cases, with 106; Teton County had 104; Fremont County had 58; Sweetwater had 47; Natrona had 34; Lincoln 28; Uinta 26; Campbell 19; Park 17; Albany 16; Carbon 12; Big Horn 10; Goshen eight; Sheridan seven; Platte six; Johnson three; Converse two; Hot Springs, Sublette and Weston had one case; while Crook, Niobrara, and Washakie each reported zero cases.  

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 55,449 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 54,250 have recovered.

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15 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Tuesday; 428 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases decreased by 41 on Tuesday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 64 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 15 new laboratory-confirmed and 10 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 428 active cases, down 41 from Monday.

Teton reported the most active cases with 102, Laramie had 94; Sweetwater 36; Fremont 35; Natrona 33; Lincoln 23; Campbell 19; Uinta 18; Albany 13; Carbon and Park 12; Big Horn eight; Platte and Sheridan six; Goshen four; Johnson three; Converse two; Hot Springs and Weston one each, while Crook, Niobrara, Sublette and Washakie report zero cases. 

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 11, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 55,352 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 54,231 have recovered.

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Wyoming Sees Two More COVID Deaths, Bringing Total to 693

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Two more coronavirus-related deaths among Wyoming residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have been confirmed, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

The deaths included:

  • An older adult Big Horn County man died last month. He was hospitalized in another state and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19.
  • An older adult Sheridan County woman died earlier this month. She was a resident of a local long-term care facility and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19.

In the descriptions, “older adult” includes those 65 and over.

Deaths among Wyoming residents are added to the state’s total based on official death certificate information and location of permanent residence. If death certificates do not describe COVID-19 as either causing or contributing to a death, those deaths are not included in the WDH count.

Among Wyoming residents, there have now been 693 coronavirus-related deaths, 46,861 lab-confirmed cases and 8,491 probable cases reported since the pandemic began.

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132 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Monday; 469 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Growth of more than 180 in reported recoveries from confirmed and probable coronavirus pushed the number of active cases in the state down by 18 over the weekend.

The Wyoming Department of Health, in its regular coronavirus update Monday, said it received reports of 182 recoveries over the weekend, along with reports of 132 new laboratory-confirmed cases and 32 new probable cases.

The numbers left the state with 469 active cases, a decline of 14 from Friday.

Teton County had 108 active cases as of Monday; Laramie County had 104; Natrona County had 41; Sweetwater had 40; Fremont had 37; Uinta had 27; Lincoln had 21; Campbell had 19; Albany had 15; Carbon had 14; Park had 12; Platte had seven; Sheridan had six; Goshen had five; Big Horn had four; Converse had three; Johnson and Weston had two, and Hot Springs and Washakie had one.

Sublette County on Monday joined Crook and Niobrara counties in reporting no active coronavirus cases.

The increases in confirmed and probable cases brought the total number of people diagnosed with COVID since the first case was detected in Wyoming one year ago to 55,327. 

Of those, 54,167 have recovered, according to Health Department figures.

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