By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s COVID-related hospitalizations have reached more than 200, the first time the state has seen these numbers since early December.
The state had 203 COVID patients hospitalized across the state as of Thursday, according to the state’s hospitalization tracker.
“It’s really bad right now,” Wyoming Hospital Association President Eric Boley told Cowboy State Daily last week. “Our numbers are looking worse day by day and there’s more concern now that schools are going back, that we’ll see a surge of pediatric patients.”
The most patients were at the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, with 46. This was followed by the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, with 44 patients.
Four hospitals’ intensive care units are completely full: Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette, Cody Regional Hospital, Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie and SageWest Health Care in Lander. However, just because a person is in the ICU does not mean they are a COVID patient.
Of the state’s available 137 ICU beds, only 57 in Wyoming are open.
Despite the high COVID hospitalizations, only 30 ventilators are in use across the state. But like with the ICU, just because a patient is on a ventilator doesn’t mean they are a COVID patient.
Hospitalized COVID patients have steadily increased through the month of August, going from 75 on Aug. 5 to 194 by Tuesday, the end of the month.
The seven-day COVID positivity rate has decline somewhat in recent days, decreasing from 23% earlier this week to 20.7% as of Thursday.
Wyoming hit peak hospitalizations in late November, with 247 patients.
Wyoming has seen 858 deaths related to the virus.
Earlier this week, the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has canceled all of its elective surgeries until further notice due to an “overwhelming” influx of coronavirus patients.
“The best solution is for folks to get vaccinated,” Boley said. “We’re facing some real challenges, so wearing masks, washing your hands and social distancing will help. There’s a lot skepticism in our state about the solutions, but the truth is, COVID is right on our doorstep. Our hospitals and nursing homes are doing all they can, but we really need the public to help us out.”