Forty-nine more Wyomingites have died from COVID-19, the Wyoming Department of Health reported Tuesday.
This fall has been one of the deadliest periods for COVID-19-related illness since the Wyoming pandemic began.
There have now been 1,347 coronavirus-caused deaths in Wyoming since the pandemic arrived here in March 2020. More than a third of those deaths were reported after September 1 this year.
Thirty-one of the new deaths occurred in November, three of them in the past week. Sixteen took place in October and two in September.
The state does not include a death in its COVID-19 count unless the virus is listed on the patient’s death certificate as a cause of death or a contributing factor. There is often a delay between when deaths occur and when deaths are reported due to the time it takes to process death certificates.
Thirty-nine of the 49 people were hospitalized prior to their deaths, four out of state. Twenty-five had underlying health conditions that increased their risk for COVID-19. Four were residents of long-term care facilities.
Of the 14 counties where deaths rose, Park County suffered the most from 10 new deaths. Natrona and Goshen counties each added six deaths, while Laramie and Campbell counties added four each. Carbon, Fremont, Sheridan and Weston counties each reported three new deaths. Sweetwater County added two deaths, both as of September, and Hot Springs, Lincoln, Sublette and Uinta counties each added one.
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The number of deaths has fallen dramatically this spring, with the number reported in single digits every week since mid-March. But the trend has not lasted. The numbers have reached what they were in early winter, when the state recorded more than 50 deaths a week.
Last week, the state reported 55 deaths from COVID-19. The week before, Wyoming had its highest weekly update on the pandemic with 69 reported deaths.
The state health service does not release the vaccine status of every hospitalized patient, but has said about 95% of recent hospitalizations are unvaccinated.
A more contagious strain of the virus has led federal and state officials to again recommend wearing face masks in areas with low vaccination coverage and moderate to high virus transmission.
Governor Mark Gordon has said his office will no longer be carrying out any mandates or closings. Gordon said he encourages residents to get vaccinated, but the decision is “intensely personal” and he is not planning any interventions to increase uptake.
Wyoming’s vaccination rate remains the second lowest in the nation, with 44% of the state fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Only West Virginia has a worse rate of 41%.
According to polls by the US Census Bureau, unvaccinated Wyomingites are also the most reluctant in the country to accept or give the injections to their children.
About 270,000 residents have received at least one vaccine dose as of Monday so far. Nearly 53,000 booster doses have been given.