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Wyoming's COVID-19 death toll rises by five
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Wyoming's COVID-19 death toll rises by five

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COVID-19

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab.

The state of Wyoming reported Tuesday that five more Wyomingites have died from COVID-19.

There have now been 725 coronavirus-caused deaths in Wyoming since the pandemic arrived here in March 2020. The latest deaths occurred in May.

The state does not include a death in its COVID-19 count unless the virus is listed on the patient’s death certificate as either the cause of death or a contributing factor. There is often a lag between when deaths occur and when deaths are reported because of the time it takes for death certificates to be processed.

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The deaths include two older Laramie County men, a Laramie County woman, a Teton County man and an older Teton County woman. All but the Laramie County woman had been hospitalized prior to their deaths.

Deaths have dramatically declined in the state from the surge this fall and winter, but have ticked up slightly in the last several weeks. Twelve combined deaths have been reported in the last three weeks compared to 13 in the previous seven. Still, the number reported each week has been in the single digits since mid-February.

While it does take time for the state to process death certificates, and those numbers may change, it’s still a dramatic drop from early this winter when the state was recording more than 50 deaths per week.

COVID-19 infections soared this fall. Hospitalizations and deaths followed. The surge led more than half of Wyoming’s counties, and eventually the state, to implement face mask mandates. COVID-19 cases plummeted following that order, which has since been lifted — as has every other statewide order, as of this month.

With vaccines widely available to nearly anyone who wants one, state and federal authorities have eased most mask restrictions. Wyoming’s vaccination rate however trails most of the country. Nationally, the state has the fifth-lowest proportion of fully vaccinated residents and the fourth-lowest proportion of those who’ve received at least one shot.

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