Wyoming COVID-19 vaccination rate increases to 36.49% ahead of new Biden rule - Cheyenne, WY Cap City News
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Wyoming COVID-19 vaccination rate increases to 36.49% ahead of new Biden rule

Dan Cepeda (Oil City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo.— The percent of people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 increased to 36.49% as of Monday, September 13, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

That is up from 35.91% as of September 7, with an additional 3,374 people becoming fully vaccinated in the last week. Since the FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines on August 23, 9,289 Wyoming resident have become fully vaccinated.

The climbing vaccination rate in Wyoming could get a boost once the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalizes a rule pursuant to President Joe Biden’s new vaccine mandate.

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BBiden announced a new COVID-19 Action Plan last week that includes a rule that will mandate employers with 100 or more employees require their employees to either get vaccinated or get tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.

The new rule would likely affect thousands of Wyoming workers. That is likely to include Wyoming teachers and other school staff, according to the Wyoming Department of Education.

The new vaccine mandate could change the dynamics of COVID-19 vaccination rates in Wyoming in terms of age. Seniors age 65 and up (people born in 1956 or earlier) are currently the most likely to have been fully vaccinated in Wyoming. 68.5% of seniors were fully vaccinated as of Monday, an increase of 0.3% in the past week, according to the WDH.

However, the vaccination rate among adolescents age 12-17 (people born between 2009 and 2014) saw the biggest jump in the last week. 36.5% of people age 12-17 in Wyoming were fully vaccinated as of Monday, up 1.5% in the last week.

45.2% of Wyoming adults age 18 and up, have been fully vaccinated, an increase of 0.6% in the last week.

Teton County is leading the state in terms of the overall vaccination rate and is pushing closer to having three in four people fully vaccinated. As of Monday, 74.57% of people in Teton County were fully vaccinated, up from 73.94% on September 7.

Vaccination rates continue to climb in Natrona County where 36.23% of the population is fully vaccinated. That is up from 35.54% on September 7.

Wyoming is still seeing COVID-19 hospitalization at levels not previously seen since fall 2020, but hospitalizations have dropped since the most recent peak of 233 seen on September 8. The number of patients with COVID-19 in Wyoming hospitals dropped to 212 on Tuesday, down from 217 on Monday, according to the WDH.

Peak hospitalizations during the pandemic overall in Wyoming occurred on Nov. 30, 2020, when there were 247 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the state.

The Wyoming Department of Health reiterated last week that getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 reduces the risk of hospitalization.

“Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that those who are fully-vaccinated have a dramatically reduced risk of requiring hospitalization for a coronavirus infection,” the WDH said. “To find a vaccine location near you, visit vaccines.gov or call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233.”

With hospitals dealing with high numbers of COVID-19 patients, the WDH announced last Wednesday that Governor Mark Gordon had allocated $30 million in federal funding to help address staffing challenges at Wyoming hospitals and healthcare facilities as COVID-19 continues to surge.

The funding will be available to help provide staffing relief, support existing healthcare staff and secure traveling medical staff.

Gordon has said that he will not be issuing any statewide mask or vaccine mandates as he would prefer to leave it up to local school districts and health officials to determine what the best course of action suited to that locality is.

Both Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon are fully vaccinated. While he said in August that getting vaccinated is an “intensely personal choice,” Gordon also encouraged people to consider getting vaccinated.

“Get vaccinated if you are willing,” he said.

In response to Biden’s recently announced policies, Gordon said on Thursday he thinks the new vaccine mandates are “an egregious example of big government overreach.”

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.