Sweetwater County has long way to go before reaching herd immunity

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Tyler Johnson, [email protected]

SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING (January 12, 2021) — Public Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon said that just because someone has been vaccinated, they should still continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing because they can still spread the COVID-19 virus.

 

Stachon also said that Sweetwater County has a long way to go before it reaches herd immunity in relation to the coronavirus.

The ideal percentage of herd immunity is 75% and the currently the county sits at around 7%.

Herd immunity is when the community has either had the disease or have been vaccinated. There’s around 42,000 people who live in Sweetwater County and about 3% of the population has had COVID-19, according to public health officials.

Stachon said that no one in the community has immunity based on vaccination alone. People who have been vaccinated need to receive the second dose of vaccine, which is approximately 10 days after the original shot.

Rock Springs City Councilmember Rob Zotti mentioned a valid point during a meeting with elected officials on Monday, adding that those who have had virus are only immune for about 90 days, which means the percentage for herd immunity are skewed and could be less.

Stachon responded to Zotti by saying the percentage is just a guesstimate and that he was correct.

The timetable to reach herd immunity is a guess as well, but Stachon said that it could be until late summer or early fall until the county reaches the desired 75%.

Sweetwater County currently ranks second in the state at a positivity rate of 11.1%, which is down from what was last reported at 18%.

There are 17 counties in Wyoming who sit at a positivity rate of 8%.