health

U.S. Centers For Disease Control

A new report from the University of Wyoming's survey center shows a majority of Wyomingites are willing to take a vaccine once it becomes available. But there is still a large faction who thinks a vaccine is unnecessary.

Wyoming Department of Health

Campbell County Health (CCH) has added a new unit to handle the increase in patients needing to be hospitalized.

The unit will have 10 additional beds for non-COVID patients and the hospital is working on establishing another additional unit to handle the needs caused by continually increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations.

UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

There is a lot of confidence from Wyoming's health officer over the possibility of a vaccine being made available to state residents. But it might take a while before most of us get access to a vaccine, that's because a couple of them are still in the trial phase. Companies are testing vaccines using people from across the country.

One person who's part of the process is Madelyn Beck, she's a former reporter for Wyoming Public Radio who's been closing following COVID-19 as part of her current job as a reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau. She spoke with Bob Beck about what the testing process is like and what interested her in becoming a guinea pig for the secret serum.

University of Wyoming, University of Colorado Boulder


As the FDA considers the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine this week, figures around the U.S., including here in Wyoming, are calling into question the vaccine and the approval process it's going through.

Public Domain

Some residents in Campbell County are voicing their anger over the state's new mask mandate and other health orders.

Campbell County commissioners held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss Gov. Mark Gordon's recent updates to health restrictions, including a statewide mask order.

In April, Google and Apple launched software that state health authorities can use to build COVID-19 contact tracing apps. But fewer than half of U.S. states have taken advantage, and most people living in those states aren't putting the apps to use.

In the Mountain West, Colorado's Exposure Notifications app has had the most success, with about 20% of the state's population having downloaded it. But fewer than 3% of Wyoming and Nevada residents have downloaded their states' smartphone apps.

https://www.nursetogether.com

Saying that too many people have died, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon issued a statewide mask order from Wednesday, Dec. 9 until Jan. 8, 2021.

Additional orders also close bars and restaurants at 10:00 p.m. and limit the amount of people in most of those facilities to 10 people. Exercise classes in gyms will also be reduced to 10.

Wyoming Department of Health - State of Wyoming


After a summer with relatively few serious cases of COVID-19, Wyoming's hospitals are full and the death toll is rising. Even the governor and first lady have contracted the coronavirus and it shows no signs of letting up. State Health Officer Doctor Alexia Harrist joined Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to discuss the virus, face coverings and the vaccine.

Jackson like other communities throughout the state are dealing with an increase of COVID-19 cases.

The Teton County Public Health Response Coordinator Rachel Wheeler said most testing has been done at the hospital. But they were worried not everyone could easily get there. So the state Department of Health stepped in and provided two Curative kiosks. They are staffed by Curative providers.

On Dec. 10, the first COVID-19 vaccine will be evaluated by a Food and Drug Administration advisory group, made of external vaccine experts. They'll say - in a public meeting - whether they think the FDA should give emergency use authorization for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and why.


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.

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