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10/16/20 CEO Update: COVID-19

10/16/20 CEO Update: COVID-19

Even in difficult times such as the one we are presently enduring, there are bright moments that help keep our outlook positive. I have been blessed in my role to have experienced some of these, including a young man who visited us this week to thank Dr. Randy Kjorstad and our trauma team for saving his life. This man had been rushed to St. John’s recently following a major traumatic injury. He required intensive medical interventions, including many units of blood products. I am so proud to be the head of an organization that can still function at an extremely high level for our community, despite the stresses and strains we are all feeling.

We have just concluded a couple of challenging weeks at St. John’s, following the latest surge in positive COVID cases and hospitalizations in Teton County. We ended this week with two COVID patients in our ICU and four COVID patients in our PCU, after having a daily record-high number of 13 hospitalized COVID patients. Due to nine residents in our Living Center testing positive for COVID, we needed to expand our hospital’s isolation unit to isolate and care for these individuals as well as COVID patients from the community. Fortunately, many of the residents who had tested positive are now doing well and the others are medically stable. Because we had more than 20 employees out of work due to quarantine, other members of our clinical and support teams stepped up to create and staff innovate schedules in order to provide the care our patients needed. While our healthcare heroes continue to work hard and bear the strain of this situation, I’m relieved to report that our staffing crisis has dissipated for the time being.

Remember to get your flu shot. Due to a national shortage of the high-dose vaccine (for people 65+), we are recommending that seniors get the regular dose rather than waiting, as any dose is better than none. There are many locations around town offering the vaccine, or you can contact your physician’s office.

We are still in the process of expanding capacity for symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. Through the CARES Act, Governor Gordon has procured funding for at-home saliva tests, making them free for Wyoming residents. For information, go to

Thank you for your continued support and your trust in St. John’s. It is helpful to our entire team to have a sense that we are all in this together.

Paul Beaupré, MD, CEO

St. John’s Health