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COVID-19 Update: April 16, 2021

COVID-19 Update: April 16, 2021

It’s been such a joy hearing from vaccinated community members who are now able to safely visit -- unmasked -- with their vaccinated friends and family. Like me, these individuals experienced a sliver of normalcy that we have all missed during the pandemic. As more of us get vaccinated, I am hopeful that our sense of returning normalcy will continue to grow.

Despite the progress, we still face some hurdles. Covid ranked as a top cause of death in 2020, along with heart disease and cancer, and the pandemic is far from over. Globally, the situation is not looking very good. Statewide, Teton County currently has the second highest transmission rate in Wyoming. At St. John’s, our covid patient census continues to hover at 2-4 patients. Today, fortunately, the number was down to two patients in the ICU.

We must continue to move toward a much higher vaccination rate in our community. Our reality is that the vaccination is our path away from more death and devastation from this terrible disease. To those who are hesitant, I issue a reminder that we weigh risk with all decisions we make. A serious side effect has put the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on pause, which is a good step that allows scientists to take a closer look at what is happening. Though very serious, the rate for the rare blood clotting side effect is less than 1 in 1 million. In comparison, 1 in 700 Americans contracted covid, and 1 in 5 people hospitalized with covid also developed a blood clotting disorder. The number of deaths from covid in the U.S. is already greater than the population of the state of Wyoming. Along with other health experts, I conclude that the covid vaccines present an exceptionally reasonable risk profile.

I strongly encourage you to get the vaccine before the busy summer visitation season is upon us. The community has a lot of capacity and vaccine supply available. Anyone who lives or works in Teton County, WY, age 16 or older, is eligible for a vaccine in Teton County. You can schedule your appointment or view the walk-in clinic schedule at

Our Board of Trustees has approved a Covid Safety Bonus to reward our staff members who have already gotten the vaccine and incentivize those who haven’t. Most importantly, we want to uphold our commitment to you to provide a safe environment to meet your healthcare needs.


Paul Beaupré, MD

Medical Director, Covid Response