Sweetwater Health Officials Wait for March COVID-19 Vaccine Allotment

Sweetwater Health Officials Wait for March COVID-19 Vaccine Allotment

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Since December, roughly 7,000 Sweetwater County residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine and Sweetwater County Public Health officials are now waiting to find out how many doses it will receive in March.

During an informational COVID-19 meeting with local officials, industry personnel and media representatives, Sweetwater County Public Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon said between those who have tested positive for the virus and those who have received the vaccine, Sweetwater County has about a 25 percent herd immunity. However her estimates do not include those who had COVID-19 and didn’t get tested.

Sweetwater County Public Health and Castle Rock Medical Center are continuing to distribute the vaccine as fast as they can. These are not the only two groups that can give vaccines in the county. Walmart is receiving vaccine from the federal government, Stachon said. Like public health, Walmart must follow the phasing criteria when distributing the vaccine. For more information on Walmart’s distribution, contact its pharmacy.

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According to Dr. Connie Fauntleroy, Castle Rock Medical Center has given about 1,800 first dose vaccines and around 500 second dose or (booster) vaccines so far.

Dr. Fauntleroy said they did have to cancel one booster clinic on Saturday due to the vaccine not arriving because of inclement weather. However, as soon as the vaccine arrives they will host another clinic. She said in addition to the clinics, they have vaccinated homebound residents who qualify, school district employees and healthcare employees.

Sweetwater County Public Health Director Kim Lionberger said at this time she doesn’t know what the March vaccine allotment is going to be. As soon as they find out, appointments will open up and scheduling will take place.

Right now we are just waiting for our allocation before we can continue to schedule any more appointments.

~ Sweetwater County Public Health Director Kim Lionberger

Lionberger believes the county will move onto the 1c phase group sometime in March, but she’s not sure when in March that will take place since that decision will be based on how many vaccine doses the county will receive.

Both Green River and Rock Springs have an overflow list ready for those who want the vaccine, however once the state has online registration available, residents can make their appointment online or get on the waiting list through that online registration program.

For the complete list of phases see below.

COVID-19 Testing

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County Medical Director Dr. Cielette Karn said the hospital currently has enough COVID-19 tests to complete rapid testing and it is now opening up rapid testing to any physician who needs it.

“Our overall testing volume has remained pretty low,” Dr. Fauntleroy said.

However Castle Rock also noticed in the last seven days the positivity rate has increased back up to 18 percent, Dr. Fauntleroy said. So even though the amount of testing is decreasing, those who are testing positive for the virus is increasing. Due to the decrease in COVID-19 testing, Castle Rock will close its Drive thru testing on March 1.

Another thing local doctors have noticed according to Dr, Karn is a significant decrease in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and flu cases this year. She said they are seeing a “boring” season.

“It’s because we are wearing masks,” Dr. Karn believes.

Sweetwater County Stats

Sweetwater County currently has a 14-day rolling positivity rate of 5.7 percent and around 50 active cases. That’s a slight decrease from 7 percent last week. The states average 14-day rolling positivity rate is 2.6 and most of the counties are at 3 percent or lower.

Currently, one COVID-19 related hospitalization is being reported at the MHSC. The hospital has been averaging two to three COVID-19 related hospitalizations and emergency room visits.


THE LATEST COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS NEWS & INFO FROM THE WYOMING DEPT. OF HEALTH

What to do if you feel sick: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms, please call your primary care provider or seek medical attention.

Please follow these tips to slow the spread of this virus:

  • Follow Public Health Orders
  • Practice social distancing of 6 feet or more.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings, especially when physical distancing of at least 6 feet isn’t available.
  • Stay home when sick and avoid other people unless you need medical attention.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Older people and those with health conditions that mean they have a higher chance of getting seriously ill should avoid close-contact situations.
  • Long-term care and healthcare facilities should follow guidelines for infection control and prevention.

For current news, updates, closures and resources, please visit our COVID-19 Coronavirus page here.