JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) – The sustained high levels of daily new COVID-19 cases has overwhelmed the current capacity of the Teton County Health Department case investigation and contact tracing team.
This does not mean that these important efforts have ceased.
Teton County, Wyo. residents who test positive for COVID-19 will still receive a call from one of its case investigators.
Due to the number of cases, these calls may be delayed.
Case investigators will conduct a phone interview with all positive cases and send them isolation orders.
Due to the overwhelming number of new cases each day, it is necessary for them to prioritize calls to certain identified close contacts. The highest priority tiers have been set to include vulnerable populations and those who work with vulnerable populations and essential workers.
Contact tracers are calling and notifying these prioritized close contacts, including the case’s household members.
Officials are asking cases to notify all of their other close contacts who will not be receiving calls from the Health Department.
Teton County Health Department will continue to work with schools, childcare facilities, and businesses to assist with contact tracing and case investigation where possible. The Health Department is providing resources so that these facilities can begin the contact tracing process internally.
Health officials are encouraging anyone who has received a positive test result or has been notified that they are a close contact to a positive case to click HERE. There you will find information and resources on testing and what to do if you are in isolation or quarantine. Businesses should also visit the Health Department COVID page to learn more about how they can prepare for and respond to COVID-19 cases in the workplace.
The surge in cases seen in Teton County, WY since late October is likely associated with several factors, including people not staying home when they are sick and gathering with people outside of their households.
At this time, the Teton County Health Department is asking all community members to interact only with members of their own household when not at school or work, and to wear masks in public.
“We need the community to prioritize keeping schools and businesses open. We can only do this by avoiding social gatherings with others outside of our households for the time being,” Teton County Health Director Jodie Pond said. “As social gathering sizes have increased, we have seen an increase in cases from these types of events. When you are at your friend’s house or have friends over, you are more likely to become less vigilant about COVID-safety measures such as wearing masks and physical distancing. This is where we have seen people get infected.”
The Teton County Health Department is also encouraging all Wyoming residents to take advantage of the free at-home, saliva-based testing being offered by the State.
The tests are free for anyone who has a Wyoming address and insurance is not required. For more information on testing, click HERE.