About half of the 13 employees at Campbell County Public Health have contracted COVID-19.
Public Health’s drive-thru flu clinic and COVID-19 testing have been postponed until further notice because of the shortage of employees in the office. Public Health is still offering some services, but by appointment only.
County spokeswoman Ivy McGowan said it underscores the seriousness of COVID-19. Few places in the community took more precautions against the pandemic than Public Health, and “it still ended up decimating the office," she said.
McGowan asked other employers to use this as an example. Public Health is funded by federal, state and local tax dollars. Private businesses don’t have that luxury.
“We need people to start taking this seriously,” she said.
As of Wednesday, Campbell County has had 1,601 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and another 127 probable cases with 960 active and 762 recoveries, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
The county has had one of the fastest rates of COVID-19 growth over the past few months. On Aug. 1 before school began, the county had 93 confirmed cases. A month later on Sept. 1, the count had grown to 169. By Oct. 1, it was up to 306. Since then, Campbell County has exploded by another 1,295 cases, a surge of 423% in 42 days.
Earlier this week, Public Health said that the surge in new cases was overwhelming their abilities to properly conduct contact tracing.
From Nov. 1 to Nov. 10, Campbell County has averaged 50.3 new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day.
In Campbell County, the COVID-19 positivity rate on tests taken in the past 14 days is more than 29% as of Nov. 10. For comparison, Wyoming has a positivity rate of 10.7%.
The 183 hospitalized COVID-19 patients reported throughout the state on Wednesday is a continuation of a nearly two-month spike. On Nov. 1, there were 116 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Gordon announced that he was allocating another $10 million in CARES Act money to pay for supplementary staffing for Wyoming hospitals that have been pushed near capacity and had their staffing stretched thin by the latest wave of the virus.