COVID-19 cases may not be spiking the way they were weeks ago, but they are still far above where they were throughout most of the summer, which has put a strain on area hospitals.
As of Thursday, 141 county residents had active cases of the virus and 12 were hospitalized, including nine at Cody Regional Health.
According to the Wyoming Department of Health, CRH had only one ICU bed open.
The hospital has seen a dramatic increase in COVID-related illnesses in those presenting at the Walk-in Clinic, emergency room and those admitted to intensive care and critical care inpatient units, a hospital spokesperson said in a release.
CRH is a 25-bed critical access hospital and roughly half of the beds are filled with patients experiencing COVID-related illness.
“We are asking our community to be cognizant of the signs and symptoms of COVID, especially of this Delta variant,” the release states. “Symptoms, which may be masked by the smoke and poor air quality, include coughing, sore throat, congestion, but also vomiting and diarrhea.
“Most cases of COVID-19 can be treated at home with rest and hydration.”
People can order a COVID test online, make an appointment at Walgreens or, to be seen by a provider urgently, visit the Walk-in Clinic. Those experiencing shortness of breath should visit the closest emergency room.
“These symptoms are the same for those vaccinated and unvaccinated,” the release stated. “The difference may lie in the severity being worsened for unvaccinated individuals.”
If there is a suspected case of COVID-19 and the person is not sick enough to be hospitalized, people will be sent home to self-isolate. If they have family living with them they will also be asked to self-isolate. See Parkcounty-wy.gov/public-health/ for current isolation recommendations.
“We are committed to providing the most up-to-date therapy for the treatment of COVID-19,” said Dr. Elise Lowe, hospitalist and co-chair of the Viral Management Committee at Cody Regional. “We constantly watch for approval of any new therapies, but we do not give experimental treatments outside of clinical trials.”
The hospital has been working closely with county and state health officials in ongoing management and continued preparedness for COVID-19 patients. Following hospital policies, guidelines from the Wyoming Department of Health and Center for Disease Control, CRH developed strategic steps and policies to handle a suspected or confirmed case of COVID.
“We follow FDA guidance on dosing and assess each patient in person before prescribing new medications. Our treatment plans are supported by National Institutes of Health and Infectious Disease Society of American guidelines,” Lowe said. “There are many medications under investigation in controlled trials where safety can be closely monitored. In alliance with our oath to First Do No Harm, we will not be prescribing any therapies that have not been proven safe and effective.”