COVID-19 Update: Memorial Hospital Reopens Same Day Surgery Area

Schools continue to monitor COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19 Update: Memorial Hospital Reopens Same Day Surgery Area

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, Sweetwater County Public Health officials have decided to send out weekly press releases in lieu of a monthly informational Zoom meeting.

In an email yesterday, the Sweetwater County Board of Health stated it intends on sending weekly updates on COVID-19 stats and information about Sweetwater County instead of hosting a monthly Zoom meeting with healthcare workers, elected officials, business leaders, and media representatives.

SweetwaterNOW took a little time going through the five-page update the board of health submitted in the email to find new COVID-19 related information to share with our readers.

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Here’s what we found.

Hospital Update

The Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County had 15 inpatients Friday morning, including 10 COVID-positive patients in ICU.

By Friday afternoon, the Same-Day Surgery suite was demobilized as a second COVID-19 unit. The
hospital hopes it can begin to offer some elective surgeries this week. However, it will depend on emergency room visits and COVID activity.

If there is a repeat of the Labor Day holiday weekend, when the hospital had 19 COVID-19 positive patients requiring ICU-level care, the Same-Day Surgery suite can again quickly be converted back to a second COVID unit.

School/College News

As of Friday, Sweetwater County School District No. 2 has 177 students/staff quarantined or tested positive. Unlike last year, the Green River schools are seeing a spread that is likely coming from school.

District No. 2 is also finding their quarantines to be limited in effectiveness. The students that get quarantined are not attending school, but can be seen throughout the community without taking the precautions, such as wearing masks.

Sweetwater County School District No. 1 did not have any new information to report since its Saturday update. The state is currently conducting the contract tracing for Sweetwater County. However, public health has hired a contact tracer to assist both school districts with their tracing efforts.

Western Wyoming Community College is reporting for the week of September 7, that it had five new COVID-19 positive cases, 10 active cases and 18 recovered cases.

Western also partnered with Memorial Hospital and hosted a vaccination clinic at its campus
on September 7. Twenty eight individuals took advantage of the clinic and received the
vaccine. Of those, 23 were students. 

Western will host more clinics on their campus on September 14 and 16 with Public Health, and if it continues to see interest from the college community, it will hold additional vaccine clinics the following weeks.

Then when Memorial Hospital nurses return to campus on September 28 to provide the second dose to the 28 individuals from September 7, they will also provide the first dose option once again to those who would like it.

Western currently has a 30-day mask mandate in place through September 24.

Vaccination Information

Public health is still holding daily walk-in hours for both COVID and school immunizations. Afternoons are available by appointment. These clinics have been well attended and public health has seen an increase in people seeking COVID vaccinations.

With Flu season coming, public health is planning walk-in combined flu and COVID vaccination clinics at the Sweetwater Events Complex beginning September 28. More details will be released later this week.

The FDA is meeting on September 17 and then the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
(ACIP) is meeting on September 29 to discuss an additional dose of COVID vaccine for everyone. This meeting may be earlier depending on the findings at the FDA meeting. At this time, only immunocompromised with specific conditions can receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Memorial Hospital has added a second Drive-thru Vaccine Clinic day. It now offers vaccines from 3-6 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday. If construction at the main entrance of the hospital is not complete next week, the vaccine drive-thru will operate at the back of the Specialty Clinics at the Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center.

For more vaccination information, click here.