For Immediate Release
July 29, 2021, Jackson, WY – Teton County Health Department encourages all residents, workers, and visitors to wear masks in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. This recommendation is based on new guidance provided by the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), which follows the CDC’s change to mask wearing recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals that occurred on July 27, 2021.
The WDH recommends that all individuals, no matter their vaccination status, wear masks in public indoor settings if they are in counties experiencing high levels of transmission. High transmission is defined as being in Yellow, Orange, or Red Zones, based on the WDH County Transmission Indicators. These Indicators will be updated weekly on the WDH website. Based on both the CDC’s and WDH’s metrics looking at transmission rates, Teton County is an area with a high level of transmission. This indicates the need for Teton County Health Department (TCHD) to recommend mask wearing indoors.
According to metrics tracked by TCHD, Teton County’s overall COVID risk level remains in Yellow, or Low Risk. On a weekly basis, TCHD evaluates 8 different metrics that make up the overall COVID risk level. Transmission metrics are included to determine Teton County’s overall COVID risk, and current TCHD data aligns with the high rates reported by the CDC and WDH. The breakdown of TCHD metrics can be found on our website.
Individuals may choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised, at an increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, including, but not limited to diabetes; overweight or obesity; and heart conditions. Members of the household who are unvaccinated include any adults who have not completed vaccination, who cannot be vaccinated, and those who are not eligible for vaccines, including children less than 12 years of age.
Teton County continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases and last week had its first confirmed case of the Delta variant, from genetic sequencing from a positive PCR test. The Delta variant, compared to other COVID-19 variants, is more transmissible to others, and individuals who contract the Delta variant have a much higher viral load than those infected with other variants. This means that they can not only expose more people to the virus, but also they are getting sick more quickly after they have been exposed. Teton County Health Department recommends for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, to stay home when sick and to test. Testing is the only way to ensure you do not have COVID-19. To see testing, vaccination and other local COVID-19 information please visit, www.tetoncountywy.gov/covid.