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Testing maxed as Jackson Hole’s COVID-19 numbers grow

JACKSON (WNE) — As the per-capita rate of COVID-19 cases in Jackson Hole climbs, community leaders are beginning to feel the impacts on health care services, including virus testing capacity, public hotlines and telehealth.

Teton County’s per capita rate of infection rose to 47.5 cases per 100,000 as of Monday, up from 39 on Friday. Another metric trending in a negative direction is testing capacity, which Teton County Director of Health Jodie Pond said has been moved to “concerning.”

“We are maxed on testing right now,” Pond said. “The hospital really doesn’t have much more capacity for the rapid testing.”

Most tests are being sent to private labs, with results taking five to seven days, which is too long, she said.

St. John’s Health has felt the pinch of increasing case numbers through high volumes of phone inquiries and telehealth visits.

St. John’s coronavirus hotline answered a record 258 calls a week ago Saturday, “the highest volume we’ve experienced since the line was created in March,” hospital CEO Paul Beaupre said Friday.

Video and phone telehealth visits are numbering 50 to 80 per day.