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Teton County Health Department has added an additional risk level to our public health guidance to better communicate the current COVID-19 situation in Teton County, WY. The new risk level is Purple or Critical Risk Level and is above Red or High Risk on the dial. When evaluating risk levels for COVID-19, key considerations include the number of new cases, case investigation/contact tracing capacity, recent hospitalizations, and other epidemiological factors. Between January 5th and 18th, Teton County detected over 540 new cases. This is the largest number of cases within a two week period to date. This case load has also placed significant strain on the case investigation/contact tracing staff, preventing timely isolation and quarantine and increasing the potential for further spread. The purple risk designation indicates that more community commitment to preventative measures is needed to address COVID-19 transmission. Teton County Health Department is recommending that everyone avoid close contact and gatherings with people who do not live in their household. This recommendation was formalized on January 13, 2021 when Teton District Health Officer, Dr. Travis Riddell, re-issued Recommendation #11. This recommendation will remain in place until at least January 27, 2021. Teton County Health Director, Jodie Pond, MPH stated, “It is challenging to watch our disease metrics in Teton County moving in the wrong direction. No one wants to see this happen, but in recent days we have had some of the highest case numbers ever. We all want this pandemic to be over, but unfortunately we have a long way to go. We all must continue to be cautious and make personal decisions that will prevent unnecessary illness and death in our community. Please join us in practicing the preventative measures that we know work.” To decrease the spread of COVID-19 the Teton County Health Department is urging the public to take the following precautions, in addition to those previously recommended in the Red (High) Risk Level: 1. Gather only with household members. Always maintain at least six feet between yourself and non-household members. 2. Always wear a dry mask with multiple layers in public. 3. Avoid the “3 C’s”: Spaces that are Crowded, have high potential for Close-contact, or are Confined and enclosed with poor ventilation. 4. Reduce your trips to get food, mail, and other services to the extent possible. Utilize carryout, delivery, and contactless payment options when available. 5. Travel for essential purposes only. Upon return, self-monitor for symptoms and test on or after day seven. Continue to follow other State and County Public Health Orders, Recommendations and Guidelines. A list of the current orders and recommendations, as well as the full text of Recommendation #11, can be found by clicking here. To read more about the purple (critical) risk level, visit Teton County Health Department’s Metrics Page.