The expected holiday bump in COVID-19 cases has arrived and Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin said Sunday he is expecting more severe impacts to follow.
“We will see more hospitalizations and deaths related to the Christmas and New Year’s season,” he said.
In late December, Billin said he expected to see a bump from the holiday season, as many people gathered for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but he hoped it would be smaller than previous bumps.
But as of Sunday the county was bucking the state trend in the wrong direction. While daily new cases and hospitalizations are down for Wyoming, Billin said effective reproduction number, wastewater testing, daily new cases and hospitalizations are up in Park County.
There are 16 people hospitalized in the county with COVID-19 and 115 active lab confirmed cases, including 69 in Cody. There have been 268 lab confirmed cases in the last two weeks.
Some of the other metrics have also risen after weeks of going down, including wastewater testing, which Billin said has been a good way to see in advance if new cases will rise.
Cody’s wastewater testing rose to 8.9% from 7.9% and Powell’s to 3.6% from 3.1%.
The rate of tests coming back positive in Park County is higher than the state average, with 9.2% over the last two weeks, while the state average is 5.8%.