March 12, 2020, Jackson, Wyo. – Amid growing concerns on the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Teton County, and the community’s increasing desire to practice social distancing, the Jackson Town Council and Teton County Commissioners voted unanimously today in a special Joint Information Meeting (JIM) at Town Hall to revoke town and county permits for five March special events that would attract more than 250 attendees each.
After hearing community updates and listening to public comment, the Jackson Town Council voted unanimously to cancel the World Championship Hill Climb scheduled from March 19 to 22, the Octane Addictions event on March 20, and the Rendezvous Music Festival on the Town Square on March 27 due to presenting a clear and present danger to the participants and the public. The Teton Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to cancel the Quarter Cookout at the Stilson Lot event on March 21 and the Jackson Hole Rendezvous Festival in the Mountain Resort parking lot from March 26 - 29, for the reasons of public health nuisance.
During the special JIM, Town Council and County Commissioners heard updates on COVID-19 from Teton County Health Department Director Jodie Pond and St. John’s Health CEO Paul Bearer. Currently Teton County does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, but the hospital has seen an uptick in calls to their hotline. Both Pond and Beaupré said the county and hospital are prepared for COVID-19 and have been implementing their continuity plans but encouraged social distancing and taking proactive measures as a community.
“The Communities that get on top of it early see a flattened curve, not a spike in the number of cases. There is a very narrow window to intervene. We have a responsibility to protect those most at risk, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. We have a responsibility to protect the health care system, so it doesn’t get overwhelmed. We have a responsibility to protect our first responders,” said Pond. “This isn’t about a single person; it’s how we respond as a community. The phrase, ‘we are all in this together,’ cannot be more true.”
Officials also heard about mitigation efforts from Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Chief, Brady Hansen, Jackson Police Department Chief, Todd Smith, Emergency Management Coordinator, Rich Ochs and Teton County School District Superintendent, Gillian Chapman.
“We need to make decisions in our community’s best interests,” said Ochs. “That may mean being proactive to get ahead of this, rather than reactive after a case has already occurred.”
During a public comment period, public officials heard from representatives of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, Snow King Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board and various local business owners and community members.
To view a steam of the meeting, go to the Town of Jackson website at http://jacksonwy.swagit.com/play/03122020-635
From the Teton County Health Department
The Teton County Health Department and St. John’s Health are actively monitoring COVID-19. There are currently no cases in Teton County, and one case in the state (Sheridan).
The Health Department is reminding members of the public to call the county hotline at 1-307-732-8628 for the most-up-to date information. St. John’s Health is asking individuals with fever, cough, or influenza-like illness to call 307-739-4898, option 3 for a phone evaluation.
Those who are planning to leave the area for spring break should be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for travel at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. Individuals who have traveled to an area with a sustained outbreak should self-isolate for fourteen days upon return. Those most at risk of contracting COVID-19, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, should avoid cruises and traveling to places with an outbreak.
The Health Department is also encouraging the public to help flatten the curve, or spread of the virus, by doing the following: Individuals can take the following steps to help prevent the spread of the disease:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs. A list of COVID19-fighting products can be found here: https://www.americanchemistry.com/Novel-Coronavirus-Fighting-Products-List.pdf
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Prepare your household with an emergency plan and supplies. Guidance can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html
- To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons aged six months or older should receive an annual influenza vaccine if they have not done so already.
For more the most up-to-date information, please visit the Teton County Health Department website at https://tetoncountywy.gov/2061/Coronavirus-Disease-COVID-19.