COVID-19 News Update: January 6, 2022

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SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING — Sweetwater Board of Health has released their weekly update. “COVID-19 numbers are again rising across Wyoming, including Sweetwater County. The CDC COVID-19 Nowcast model estimates Omicron has become the predominant strain at 77.8-99.6% of new cases for Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming).”

“Omicron can cause breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people so it is important to get your booster vaccine on time. Evidence shows that being fully vaccinated and boosted can help prevent infection. If you do have a breakthrough infection, the vaccine does reduce severe illness and hospitalizations.”

Updated Test to Stay Protocols:


Current #’s: As of 1/5/2022, Sweetwater County is at 7.2% Test Percent Positivity, up from 4.5%. Overall, Sweetwater County is back in the Orange Zone with Moderate-High Transmission Levels. There are 107 confirmed deaths to date.       

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Vaccinations:  As of 1/3/2022 there are 17,765 (41.95%) fully vaccinated individuals in Sweetwater County.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County: Although MHSC is caring for an average of four COVID-19 positive inpatients daily, it has had a total of up to 18 inpatients in-house daily. The Emergency Room is averaging 40 visits per day.

This continues amid staff shortages. MHSC is no different than other hospitals across the region and nation. When members of our healthcare staff are out with COVID-19, flu or other respiratory illnesses, it puts even greater stress on our already limited staff.

At this time, MHSC has stalled elective surgical cases that require an overnight stay. Hospital leaders will continue to monitor elective surgeries on a week-by-week basis.

Kim White, MHSC incident commander and emergency department director said the hospital has been fortunate in that there hasn’t been a sudden surge as some hospitals have seen. White said staff hopes this continues as the Omicron variant, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses move in and pick up in the community.


REGIONWIDE: Some air ambulance crews around the state and region have reported not being able to fly as a result of weather conditions. The University of Utah Health has limited its incoming transfers to critical care patients. It also is delaying all non-urgent surgeries.

In an “unprecedented move,” U of U Health has reduced the number of beds it offers as a result of having hundreds of staff out sick. During a U of U Health Affiliate meeting Wednesday, hospital leaders explained: U of U Health took 52 beds offline – 12 in ICU and 40 on the medical/surgical floor. The regional hospital has been at 100% capacity with at least 500 staff out sick with COVID-19 or isolating.

“We won’t be staffing for those beds … until we have the staffing,” said Dr. Edward Kimball, who works in critical care at the University of Utah Health. Typically, a hospital adjusts staffing based on capacity. U of U Health is now adjusting capacity based on staffing. “This is an unprecedented move,” he said.

The weekly U of U Health Affiliate meeting includes hospitals in Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah, representing nearly 20 hospitals. Some small rural hospitals have reported “hanging on by the skin of our teeth.” A 25-bed hospital reported having 50 staff members out sick.

VACCINE CLINIC CHANGES: MHSC continues to offer its vaccine & booster drive-thru from 3-6 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday through the end of January. Beginning Feb. 1, the COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-thru will be open from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesdays only.

SWAB CLINIC: The swab clinic drive-thru continues to be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the hospital’s main entrance.

For the complete report, please click HERE


The following information is from the Wyoming Department of Health. New updates are posted every day at 3 p.m.


New cases of COVID-19 in Sweetwater County since the last report: 45
Number of new cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming since the last report: 792

The number of lab-confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in Sweetwater County: 96
The number of lab-confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming: 1,845

Total number of variant cases (Delta) in Sweetwater County: 489
Total number of variant cases (Omicron) in Wyoming: 25
Total number of variant cases (All) in Wyoming: 8,439



Total number of COVID-19 related hospitalization in Wyoming: 63
Total number of COVID-19 related hospitalization in Sweetwater County: 2


First Vaccine Doses Administered Statewide (Pfizer/Moderna): 260,911
Second Vaccine Doses Administered Statewide (Pfizer/Moderna): 232,654
Third Vaccine Doses Administered Statewide (Pfizer/Moderna): 94,074

Pediatric Doses (1st & 2nd) Administered Statewide: 10,105

First Vaccine Doses Administered (J&J Janssen): 21,837
Second Vaccine Doses Administered (J&J Janssen): 1,232

Total Doses Administered: 620,813

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Omicron Variant found in Wyoming – More information can be found HERE.

COVID-19 Booster Shots – More information can be found HERE.

FDA fully approves 1st Covid-19 vaccine – For more information, click HERE. 

The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine has been approved for continued use. Please see the FDA & CDC Joint Press release for more information.

Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools – CLICK HERE to see the new CDC Guidance for K-12.

Funeral Expenses (There is funding from FEMA for funeral cost assistance) – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

News from OSHA Guidelines: 

  • Guidance (OSHA Guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace) – CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.
  • News Release (OSHA issuing an emergency temporary standard to protect health care workers from the coronavirus.) – CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.