Delta variant detected in county
July 22, 2021
A case of COVID-19 involving the Delta variant has now been officially recorded in Crook County during a time when the number of new infections within this community remains steady, but still relatively low. The Delta variant appears to still be relatively uncommon across Wyoming, with just 192 recorded instances overall – 142 of which have occurred in Laramie County.
Officially referred to as B.1.617.2, the Delta variant was initially identified in India and was first detected in this country in March 2021. It has now become the dominant strain across the planet.
Delta’s attributes include increased transmissibility, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which means it spreads more easily from one person to the next.
Crook County has also recorded two cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom and is known as Alpha. This is the most common variant to have been recorded in this state, at a total of 791 cases to date.
Fortunately, according to a CDC statement released last week, those who have received vaccinations can feel confident despite the potential spread of the Delta variant and other variants of concern.
“People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta. People who are not vaccinated remain at risk,” reads the statement.
“Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated. We encourage Americans who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their community.”
The CDC has also confirmed that booster shots are not necessary at this time and is working with the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health to determine whether one might be necessary in the future.
“We are prepared for booster doses if and when the science demonstrates that they are needed,” according to the statement.
However, Crook County remains the second least vaccinated county in Wyoming at just 18.83% fully vaccinated, according to Wyoming Department of Health figures. This is well below the 32.33% of vaccinated people across Wyoming as a whole and represents 1429 people.
Vaccination uptake has declined considerably in recent weeks within this county. At the end of June, the percentage of vaccinated people was just slightly lower at 18.42%.
“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, during a White House briefing on Friday during which she stated that the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases across America has increased by nearly 70%, while over 97% of hospitalizations are now among unvaccinated people and almost all COVID-19-related deaths.
“We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk. And communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well.”
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continue to grow very steadily across Wyoming, though the average number of COVID-19 patients in hospital at any one time is still well below the peak of November, 2020, when the all-time record reached 247.
At this time, the daily average is hovering around the 50 mark after spending much of March and April below 20. On July 17, the total number of hospitalized patients reached a recent peak of 66.
After a period with no cases in Crook County Memorial Hospital, one patient was admitted on July 10.
Crook County continues to see regular new cases, with the total number of people on record as confirmed to have been infected by COVID-19 sitting at 430 on July 18, with 38 probable cases. This includes eight new confirmed cases and one new probable case between July 8 and 19.
Laramie County continues to lead the state in new cases, while the overall number of active cases in Wyoming has begun to climb. Last week, Wyoming had 557 active cases, an increase of 81 from the week before; this week, the number climbed again to 575.
Since the beginning of June, the death count across Wyoming has risen by 41 and now sits at 760. This includes nine deaths announced last week, four of which took place in Laramie County and the rest in Campbell, Johnson, Niobrata, Platte and Sweetwater.
To date, a total of 13 deaths have occurred due to COVID-19 in Crook County.