As COVID Cases Surge, Jackson Enters Pivotal Week

Health officials are urging people to shake their COVID fatigue before the county finds itself in emergency mode.
"We must be draconian about wearing masks for the next little bit," said Dr. Paul Beapre, CEO of St. John's Health. (Robyn Vincent/KHOL)

by | Oct 5, 2020 | COVID-19, Health

The valley is once again breaking records due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the most concerning: St. John’s Health has admitted a record number of COVID-19 patients while a growing number of its staff find themselves under quarantine orders. These factors are threatening Jackson’s limited medical infrastructure.

Dr. Paul Beaupre, CEO of St. John’s Health, issued a message to the community Friday sounding the alarm and urging people to help slow the spread of COVID-19. “I must report that this has been one of the most difficult weeks of the pandemic in Teton County to date,” he wrote. “The only way out of this dire situation is for the entire community to make a commitment TODAY to reverse the dangerous trend that threatens to bring our first responder and community healthcare system to its knees.”

Both Wyoming and Teton County are breaking daily records for COVID metrics across the board. In the last seven days, Wyoming’s daily new cases have skyrocketed by more than 86 percent. In Teton County, daily COVID cases are rising and remaining in the double digits. Meanwhile, Teton County’s cases per 100,000 people are also alarming health officials.

The county is averaging 39.6 daily cases per capita, meaning if Teton County were a state it would rank the fourth highest in the nation. Those numbers are a return to the concerning infection rates the county registered a few months ago. But the problem now is the virus has spread to more of the vulnerable members of the population prompting a rise in hospitalizations. All of this makes Beaupre nervous. Still, he says everyone can do their part to rein in infection rates as the valley sits on the precipice of emergency mode.

Listen above for more.

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About Robyn Vincent

Robyn launched KHOL's news department. She has worked as a reporter and editor in Wyoming for the last decade and her work has aired on NPR stations throughout the West. When she's not sweating deadlines, Robyn sustains her nomadic heart by traveling the world with her notebook and camera in hand. Follow @TheNomadicHeart

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