Jean Allais mug

Dr. Jean Allais, MD

Albany County health officer

Wyoming is currently ranked ninth nationally and is in the “red zone” for new COVID-19 cases, meaning we have had more than 100 new cases for every 100,000 residents in one week. Over the past couple of weeks, there are new records in the State for number of new cases in one day, number of hospitalizations, and number of deaths. Albany County ranks highest in Wyoming with over 3900 cases per 100,000 population. That’s twice as many compared to Laramie County and Natrona County. Albany County has consistently had the highest number of active cases in the state over the past two weeks.

Aren’t the increased numbers just because we are testing more? Total number of cases, and cases based on population do not tell the whole story. The most important metric is percent positive cases — the percentage of coronavirus tests done that are positive. Percent positive is an indication of how widespread infection is in the community tested. The higher the percent positive, the more concerning. The thresholds most often cited, recommend keeping that number below 3%, and closer to 2%. At 5%, the community is considered a “hot spot.” The two-week rolling average for Albany County is currently 4.4%. For comparison, Laramie County is at 10.4%, and Natrona County 16.6%.

Jean Allais, MD, is the Albany County Health Officer.

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