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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

What Teton County's Surge Of 'Breakthrough Cases' Actually Means

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a counter
ivinsonhospital.org

In the last two weeks (August 15-29), 372 confirmed active COVID-19 cases were reported in Teton County. 53 percent of those were breakthrough cases. That means vaccinated individuals tested positive for the virus.

Rachael Wheeler, the public health response coordinator for the Teton County Health Department, said this number gives a false sense that the vaccine isn't working.

"Since we have such a high percentage of people being vaccinated, we can't directly compare those, apples to apples," said Wheeler.

Over 70 percent of the county's population is vaccinated. Wheeler said when comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated positive cases per 100,000 residents, unvaccinated individuals are close to two times more likely to get COVID-19 compared to someone who is vaccinated.

She added that those who are vaccinated usually have very minor symptoms, but they still can transmit the virus to unvaccinated individuals. Wheeler said that is one reason why the county has a mask mandate to try to reduce that transmission.

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