Cody Regional Health

Cody Regional Health saw a surge of COVID patients last week, some admitted and some seen and sent home with treatments. 

And unlike in the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Elise Lowe, a Hospitalist at CRH, said more patients were in their 30s, 40s and 50s, many with no serious health issues. She said with younger patients some of the top issues that can lead to a more serious case of COVID include being overweight and suffering from hypertension or diabetes, which could lead to needing breathing support.

Cody Regional Health is dealing with an influx of new COVID patients and larger hospitals in surrounding states don’t have the capacity to accept intensive care patients. Now, the hospital is preparing to implement the Wyoming Department of Health Crisis Standards of Care and has initiated their internal Incident Command System to manage the load of COVID patients in addition to normally elevated summer patient volumes. 

Over the last several weeks there has been an increase of COVID patients at Cody Regional Health’s Emergency Department, Walk-in Clinic and Acute Care/Critical Care units. 

“We’ve seen quite a spike in cases, even just in the last three days. More cases in the last few days than we’ve seen before,” Lowe said. “A lot of our patients are surprised they’re the ones who got sick.”

Tuesday-Thursday the hospital saw 87 patients, 17 of those with COVID. Spurred on by the Delta variant, the virus is exacerbating an already busy time at the hospital.

As of Friday afternoon, the number of active confirmed cases of COVID in Park County was at 163. Hospitalizations actually dropped some by Sunday after being as high as 10 patients at CRH and seven at Powell Valley Regional. Neither hospital reported an open ICU bed.

As of Monday morning, CRH had dropped to five COVID patients hospitalized, with six at Powell Valley. Cody reported two open ICU beds.

Lowe said the surge in cases hasn’t changed the hospital’s messaging, just the urgency of it.

“Now is the time for masking when appropriate, social distancing,” she said. “We see people going to work, the grocery store with symptoms. If you have symptoms you really should stay home and take care of yourself, don’t go out and spread this, take this seriously.

“In the end, the vaccine is the cure for this, and unfortunately it’s been politicized, but vaccines have been known to work for more than 100 years. This vaccine is incredibly safe and effective.”

CRH CEO Doug McMillan said while there has been plenty of disinformation going around, the stats tell the clear story.

Last Thursday, Yellowstone County, Mont., reported 99 COVID patients, 91 unvaccinated, while eight were fully vaccinated. Of those, 36 were in the ICU, 23 on ventilators. 

Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin on Wednesday shared the state’s county metrics, which put Park County in the most severe zone for transmission levels at a rate of 1,062 cases per 100,000 people and in the second-to-worst zone for test positivity at 12.7% over the last two weeks.

It’s put all area hospitals in a bind, even as they’ve worked to pool resources and ensure they are doing as much as they can to treat people, Lowe said. She said they have worked to treat and send home people that don’t need to be hospitalized, and can provide approved treatments such as an infusion of antibodies, or can even send people home with oxygen.

She cautioned against using unapproved treatments, such as the drug Ivermectin, noting that even the manufacturer, which could stand to make a lot of money from it being used to treat COVID, has said it is not effective for that purpose and has advised against it.

McMillan said the hospital is committed to working through the surge and is set to abide by the new vaccination requirements for heath care facilities dealing with Medicare and Medicaid.

“We expect increased vaccination will assist in preventing further widespread transmission of COVID-19 we are experiencing,” McMillan said. “Additionally, increased  COVID-19 testing, that is readily available and affordable at home and in the community will assist, as well as increased supply of monoclonal antibody treatment availability, and additional support provided to schools that provide additional protections to students.”

Crisis Standards of Care

The principle of Crisis Standards of Care is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of persons and is defined as a major change in usual healthcare operations.

This can affect the level of care provided, which is made necessary by some pervasive or catastrophic disaster, in this case COVID-19.

“We are possibly going to a different standard of care soon, due to this major change in our health care operations in order to meet patient needs,”Lowe said. “This could mean double occupancy in our ACU/CCU units. We have communicated our situation with the Big Horn Basin Healthcare Coalition, Park County Public Health, the Wyoming Department of Health and Homeland Security.”   

The decision comes after discussions with staff.

“Cody Regional Health leadership has come together to discuss how various departments throughout our system can assist with the increased volumes and staffing needs,” said Keith Ungrund, chief clinical officer. “We want people to know they can come to us for help, but we also need help from our communities. Please social distance, wear a mask and stay home if you are experiencing COVID symptoms.” 

CRH elective surgeries are at risk of being canceled depending on resources such as staffing availability, bed capacity and supply chains. Only emergency surgeries will be considered moving forward if COVID cases continue to increase.

Reduced visitation hours are currently in place at CRH, limiting visitors to one per patient between the hours of 2-6 p.m. for non-COVID patients at this time. This may change as community COVID numbers change.

To be tested for COVID, hospital staff ask people to order a COVID test online through the Wyoming Department of Health, make an appointment with Walgreens if available, or if you believe you need to be seen by a provider due to the below respiratory symptoms, visit the Walk-in Clinic. If you are experiencing shortness of breath, visit your closest emergency room.  

Respiratory Clinic

Symptoms include:

• Fever

• Cough

• Diarrhea

• Loss of taste/sense of smell

• Nausea-vomiting

• Sore throat


In order to preserve Personal Protective Equipment, Cody Regional Health’s Walk-in Clinic team, located within Cathcart Health Center, are asking patients with respiratory related issues to use their walk-in clinic during the first two hours of opening, Monday-Friday, 8-10 a.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 9-11 a.m. 

Walk-in Clinic Hours for non-respiratory patients are Monday-Friday, 8-6:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

For any questions related to school exposures or returning to school that do not require urgent evaluation by a provider, contact your school nurse. CRH cannot provide any guidance or testing related to school policies.

For further questions about COVID-19 testing, visit or Cody Regional Health and Park County Public Health will be working together to monitor each case. 

For further information about COVID-19, call (307) 527-1870 or visit

(15) comments

EJ Jean

To the commenter calling this the flu: COVID has killed more Americans than guns, cars, and the flu combined (source at bottom)

To the commenters blaming tourists: If the tourists are bringing COVID to Cody then why wouldn't Cody implement mask mandates, as has been done in every other state where COVID rates are considerably lower? And yes, masks work (peer reviewed study below)

To the racist commenter blaming immigrants: Just how many undocumented people are living in Cody -- a city where 94.16% of people are white, 2.78% identify as two or more races, 1.69% are Indigenous, and 0.60% are Black -- and how would such a small, small number be the source of COVID? And if you're still concerned, then why don't you get vaccinated and wear a mask?

There are some people in Wyoming who care about public health and preventative healthcare, who listen to scientists and doctors and who are smart enough to recognize opinion from fact. They are unfortunately in the minority. If there's anything to glean from this comment section it's that Wyomingites on the whole have done this to themselves.

Lauren Tibert Wells

Charles, you echo my sentiments exactly. I'm vaccinated, had no side effects and wear an N95 mask to protect myself as well as to protect others. I believe that safe distancing, hand-washing, vaccination and mask-wearing will help slow this virus spread.

Mike Johnson

Charles, you're free to believe whatever you like. But I'd suggest increasing the size of your information bubble. There is a vast amount of information available from credentialed front line doctors and nurses who are being censored by mainstream media and approved authorities. If you rely on mainstream media and authorities to curate and deliver your information, you only know what they tell you.

As for your "minimal side effects" comment, you might review the latest CDC Vaccination Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) statistics. They are released every Friday. They report 14,500 DEATHS and 675,000 injuries after taking the experimental covid injections. This is just the USA. When you add the EU and UK, the totals exceed 38,000 DEATHS and 5 million injuries.

This is more injuries and deaths than caused by all other vaccines created over the past 30 years, COMBINED.

Worse, a Harvard study revealed that only 1% of adverse vaccine events are reported. So the horrible numbers above could actually be up to 100 times higher.

The experimental covid injections are killing and severely injuring real people at unprecedented rates, yet authorities still hyper-push (and mandate!) the injections on everyone (even those with natural immunity), including children. All for a virus with a 99.99% survival rate for most people and 99.77% overall.

The risks of the experimental injections far exceed the risks of covid. Especially when there are other, more safe and effective preventions and treatments.

Just because you're not aware of this does not mean it isn't happening. I've invested several hours every day for the past 21 months researching this topic. Much is hidden from the public.

On every topic, there is a knowledge scale from A to Z. The deeper you move into this scale, the stranger you sound to people at the beginning of the scale. If you still trust mainstream media, "approved authorities" and governments, you'll be forever stuck on "A."

Charles Johnson

I checked out the VAERS system... Here is a link....

No mention of any 14,500 deaths, just useful information about how the vaccine is overwhelmingly effective and safe with only mild symptoms. Do yourself a favor and stop spending several hours doing "research" online and register for college biology class. That would be a great way for you to move deeper into your so-called knowledge scale...

Mike Johnson

You really don't want to find this information do you Charles? The CDC doesn't want you to find it either. The link you provide gives detailed directions on how to search the VAERS data. It's complicated. They could just easily provide a weekly summary but don't. Luckily, others go through the hassle of the CDC data system and provide that summary:

Just because you refuse to see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I'm done communicating with you. Your insulting comments and repetition of mainstream narratives adds no value to anyone.

Charles Johnson

1 Comment full of anti-vax misinformation, 1 comment blaming the tourists Cody's economy relies upon, and 1 comment xenophobically blaming Mexicans for the Delta variant. Looks like the commenters on here pulled off a real hat trick for internet trolling in just a couple hours... Get vaccinated, don't blame people from out of state for community of the virus, and do enough reading to know that the Delta variant originated in India.

Viv McCord

So, how do you define "mis"information? Is that just anything you disagree with? What does "Don't blame people from out of state for "Community of the virus" mean? Does the virus have it's own community? Also why does it matter where the unproven Delta variant originated? It is not xenophobic to admit where covid is entering the country at the Southern border in a steady flow. Also the tourists come from all over, of course they also bring their germs with them. If you shop at walmart you may as well not worry about it, since half of them live in the parking lot.

Charles Johnson

Sorry, meant to say "community spread". The fact is that people in Park County aren't getting sick from immigrants who just crossed the border. Those who are getting sick are getting it from their fellow community members- especially those who are unvaccinated. Summer tourism is winding to an end, but Wyoming is posting ever higher numbers of cases. It doesn't matter where the virus originated, we are spreading it to each other now.

Finally, Mike Johnson's post is just full of statements which have no factual basis. I'll take any peer reviewed study conducted by accredited US research hospital. Feel free to reply with a scientific study of a large group of people (say over 100) that rebuts any of the following points: No clinical trials have shown that Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin have any effect in treating Covid, the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur in unvaccinated individuals, receiving the vaccine drastically reduces the occurance of complications should you contract Covid, the vaccination causes only minimal side effects in the vast majority of patients.

Viv McCord

Replying to Charles again, first thank you for your non-combative response, I appreciate that. But I still have issues here. We can't determine where people are picking up the bug, and we can't definitely say that is coming from the unvaxxed. The CDC says the vaccinated can catch and spread it possibly even more easily. Saying the vaccinated get less sick with their 2nd and 3rd infections is only speculation there is no actual way to prove that. I read all kinds of news, not big on scientific studies, but I'm reading that India is declaring one state Covid free after widespread Ivermectin treatment, and Isreal says it is mostly the fully vaxxed in the new covid cases in hospital. When our current administration does not require testing or vaccination for people crossing our border but they are trying to force vaccination on Americans, I see no reason to comply, it's seems like a secret agenda to me. Also our government has fed all 3rd world immigrants ivermectin for decades for parasites, it's not just horse paste. You sound like a reasonable guy, I mean no disrespect, just have serious concerns here.

Mike Johnson

The health department and hospital caused this themselves. During the entire covid event, they've shared no guidance on how to strengthen immune systems. No guidance on early treatment to stop covid before it overwhelms immune systems. No guidance on how to easily prevent covid with protocols written by 50+ credentialed, front line doctors:

They are overrun with covid patients because they did not offer any advice on how to treat it early, at home.

Instead, they blame the increased cases on the public because enough of us did not obey their misguided mandates to mask, social distance, lockdown and get vaccinated. All of which have been proven to be totally ineffective and actually harmful.

Covid cases are up 300% over last year nationwide DESPITE the claim that 60% have taken the experimental injections. NOTHING THEY MANDATED WORKED.

Why? You cannot hide from a tiny virus. The only thing that protects you from a virus is the pressurized hazmat suits you see in labs.

Credentialed, front line doctors are now saying the experimental injections CAUSE covid and CAUSE its transmission. The higher the injection rate, the higher the number of covid cases. The REAL truth is that this is now a pandemic of the VACCINATED.

In addition, the medical industry is now tyrannizing, harassing and firing nurses who refuse to take the experimental covid injections. Watch this video and be appalled:

These are trained medical nurses declining the jabs because they have seen the injuries these injections cause. They have seen they are not safe. They have seen they do not prevent catching or transmitting covid. They have seen more vaccinated people in the hospital than unvaccinated. They have seen the injections are injuring and killing patients at a higher rate than all injections ever made, COMBINED.

Nurses refusing to take the injections should make every critically-thinking person doubt the injections too.

Seeing how the medical industry treats these nurses should shatter all trust that Big Medical cares more about your health than your money.

So everyone faces a choice. Trust and obey and depend on Big Medical which has been wrong about every aspect of covid, or do your own research, become your own expert and proactively take control of your own health.

Viv McCord

Thanks, Mike, for you thoughtful input

Mitch Asay

5 covid patience and our staff is overwhelmed, come on what a joke McMillan we need new leadership if that's the case

Jim Guelde

Another benefit of the tourist “industry”.

Dave Sullivan

It has nothing to do with tourists. It has more to do with Biden's open borders than anything. The delta variant should be called the "Rio Grande Delta" variant.

Mitch Asay

It should be called what it is a FLU!!!!!!!

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