health

St. John's Health CEO Dr. Paul Beaupre wrote a letter to the Jackson Town Council saying the hospital is at capacity and at risk of being overwhelmed. The council held an emergency meeting after receiving the letter.

Despite a drop in confirmed COVID-19 cases across the Mountain West last week, public health officials are warning folks not to breathe a sigh of relief.

"Here [in Utah] a lot of the facilities that were doing testing were closed completely on Thanksgiving," said Utah Department of Health spokesperson Charla Haley. "I think that had a big impact on the smaller numbers of people testing positive as well as people just being tested in general."

Nevada recently hosted its annual rural health conference, with a particular focus on infrastructure as COVID-19 continues to ravage rural America.

Wyoming's Gov. Mark Gordon has tested positive for COVID-19. His office said he has only minor symptoms at this point, including a dry cough, and "plans to continue working on behalf of Wyoming remotely."

The Mountain West is facing a hospitalization crisis, and even states that cracked down early are feeling the effects of those that didn't.

In Washington State, the frustration is palpable.


https://www.nursetogether.com

Washakie County Commissioners have voted out their public health officer, after what some describe as a miscommunication between the commission and Dr. Ed Zimmerman.

As the pandemic surges across the nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday advised against families and friends gathering for Thanksgiving. But there is one potentially safe way to see relatives and celebrate the holiday – camping.

Hospitals continue to fill up across the Mountain West, and that means some patients may have nowhere to go.


Goshen County School District

Wyoming's COVID-19 surge is having an overwhelming effect on state and local contact tracers. Public health officials might not be able to reach everyone that may have been exposed. That could have a major effect on K-12 schools around the state, since it's up to the county and district how they handle it. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Goshen County School District Superintendent Ryan Kramer about how the district has begun contact tracing all of its cases.

Nichol Bondurant

Back in early March when COVID-19 still seemed distant, Nichol Bondurant had just finished a workout in her basement.

"When I came back upstairs, I just didn't feel very good," Nichol said. "And it just kept getting worse and worse by the minute."

Ivinson Memorial Hospital


Hospital capacity is one metric that has stayed relatively stable throughout the pandemic, but in the past month, that's changed as hospitals run out of space and staffing is stretched thinner.

Catherine Wheeler

Since late September, the number of overall cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming has risen by more than 400 percent.

At a recent press conference, Gov. Mark Gordon expressed his anger over the dilemma the state finds itself in.

Google Maps

Since the start of the pandemic nursing homes and long term care facilities have been on pins and needles. With some huge outbreaks in facilities across the state, leading to a number of deaths, that anxiety has skyrocketed.

Jonni Belden oversees The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center in Campbell County. She joined Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to describe the challenges they've faced keeping their older residents safe and the impacts this is having on their staff. She started the conversation by discussing challenges faced by residents.

Surgical Face Mask by NurseTogether is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Nine counties have joined three others and the Wind River Reservation in mandating masks in indoor public settings.

Sweetwater, Sheridan, Park, Lincoln, Goshen, Carbon, Sublette and Hot Springs now have a county mask mandate effective Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 4.

The vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company Moderna may be easier to distribute in the rural West, according to regional public health experts.

It can survive up to a month in a freezer, is shipped in small doses, and it doesn't need a special, ultra-cold freezer to survive – unlike the vaccine developed by the company Pfizer.


Mask Up Park County

Last week, public health officers sent a letter requesting Gov. Mark Gordon to create a statewide mask mandate as COVID-19 cases surge and hospitals are filling up. But at a press conference, Gordon did not announce any new restrictions.

Going to a bar tonight in Boise, Idaho or Reno, Nev.?

There's about a 50-50 chance someone carrying COVID-19 will be there too.

 


stux (pixabay.com)

As of Thursday, November 12, almost half of Wyoming's coronavirus-related deaths were residents of a long-term care facility. That's according to a report by AARP, a non-profit dedicated to the wellbeing of people over 50. 

As hospitals around the Mountain West run out of space, some patients are fleeing to states that have more health mandates, which further burdens states that have been more aggressive in fighting COVID-19.


Wyoming PBS

Gov. Mark Gordon expressed frustration and anger at the toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on state residents.

Lakshmiprasad / Adobe Stock

Since the spring, contact tracing has been a crucial way to limit the spread of the COVID-19. But the current surge of cases in Wyoming and beyond has health departments struggling to keep up.

The news of a promising COVID-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German company BioNTech is generating optimism this week.

But in the Mountain West, there will be significant challenges in storing and distributing this type of vaccine in rural areas.

COVID-19 is surging across the Mountain West, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America held a briefing Wednesday on the many challenges facing the region as the pandemic surge continues.

A new poll shows that half of Wyomingites are worried the worst is yet to come for the spread of COVID-19 in the state. That number is up 11 percentage points since October and 21 points since September, according to a new poll by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC).

The entire four-person staff of a county health department in northwest Montana resigned this week.

https://www.nursetogether.com

Albany County will join Laramie County in requiring face coverings to be worn when people are in a public place and if they are lined up outside. 

A joint news conference between the Casper City Council and the Natrona County Board of County Commissioners meant to address the current surge of COVID-19 cases in Casper had to be adjourned when a hostile crowd would not stop shouting over local officials and medical experts. Most of the heckling downplayed the seriousness of the virus.

Savannah Maher

Chairman Lee Spoonhunter of the Northern Arapaho Business Council has tested positive for COVID-19. According to a statement released Monday afternoon, Spoonhunter is experiencing mild symptoms and self-isolating under the supervision of the Northern Arapaho Tribe's clinic, Wind River Family and Community Healthcare.

Jeff Victor


Wyoming, like many states, has tried to strike a balance between letting businesses operate and slowing the spread of COVID-19. But businesses are struggling to keep their doors open amid a rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

The Crowbar and Grill in downtown Laramie had to radically alter its operations when COVID-19 hit Wyoming in March.

Alan Simpson

Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson is in stable condition after experiencing a minor stroke Monday night. His son Colin said his mother noticed a change of character when she asked him to say his name earlier that day.

Simpson didn’t respond immediately so she called Cody Regional Hospital. He was flown to Denver the next day. Colin said his father is still at the hospital receiving tests and being evaluated for any other risks. He said his father is back to his old self now.

Pages