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

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COVID-19 Testing

Coronavirus sample tubes are stored in a refrigerator at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory on Sept. 4 in Cheyenne. 

Nine more Wyomingites have died from COVID-19, the Wyoming Department of Health reported Tuesday.

There have now been 760 coronavirus-caused deaths in Wyoming since the pandemic arrived here in March 2020. Five of the new deaths occurred in June, four occurred earlier this month.

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.

The new deaths include four residents from Laramie County, where cases are surging and the more contagious Delta variant is spread. The deaths also include residents from Campbell, Johnson, Niobrara, Platte and Sweetwater counties.

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All nine individuals were hospitalized prior to their deaths, five of whom did not have pre-existing conditions putting that at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness.

Deaths have dramatically declined in the state with the number reported each week in the single digits since mid-March. While it does take time for the state to process death certificates, and those numbers may change, it’s still a dramatic turn from early winter when the state was recording more than 50 deaths per week. But the number of deaths being reported each week has begun to tick back up.

COVID-19 infections, too, have plummeted since the winter surge. But hospitalizations are starting to tick upward again as unvaccinated residents develop severe illness from the virus.

With vaccines widely available to nearly anyone who wants one, state and federal authorities have eased most pandemic restrictions. Wyoming’s vaccination rate however trails most of the country. Nationally, the state has the fourth-lowest proportion of fully and partially-vaccinated residents.

Nearly 32% of the state is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and just over 214,400 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

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