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Dave Bartlett, LCSD1 assistant superintendent of support operations, rolls up his sleeve to prepare for his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, at the district’s Administration Building. Hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered Monday, and the district will continue vaccinating its employees all week. Margaret Austin/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – The number of COVID-19 vaccines Laramie County receives weekly will soon double.

Rather than the current weekly shipment of 1,140 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the county will begin getting 2,200 doses, Kathy Emmons, executive director of the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department, said Tuesday during a City-County Board of Health meeting. The department will also begin receiving around 700 doses of the Moderna vaccine, about double what it currently receives each week.

This means the county will receive around 13,000 total doses during the month of April. As a result, the health department will begin holding mass vaccination clinics “soon,” Emmons said.

City-County Health also plans to open up eligibility for the general population within two to three weeks, she said.

“So, our goal is: have everybody vaccinated by July,” Emmons said. “We’ll see – maybe it’ll be done before that, maybe it’ll be done after, but that’s our goal to really get those out now.”

The department distributed 200 of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine during a clinic last Friday. It plans to use leftover doses to vaccinate Laramie County jail inmates who want it, as well as some rural and homebound residents.

The county will not receive additional Johnson & Johnson doses during March or April, Emmons said.

City-County Health will hold a vaccination clinic targeting city, county and state employees on April 7.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 case numbers are once again on the rise. As of Thursday, the number of active cases in Laramie County stood at 115, nearly double the 64 total from last Friday.

Also as of Thursday, the 14-day rolling average of percent positive COVID-19 tests in the county stood at 4.4%. It was the first time that benchmark measurement has topped 4% since Jan. 25.

On May 12, 2020, the World Health Organization advised governments that before reopening, rates of positivity in testing (i.e., out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19) should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.

Hannah Black is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at hblack@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahcblack.

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