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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gordon Addresses Rise In COVID-19 Cases, Calls For Wyomingites To "Mask Up"

Screenshot: https://twitter.com/GovernorGordon/status/1280618114661658629

In recent weeks, new cases of COVID-19 have been on the rise in Wyoming. On Monday, July 6, the state saw its largest single day increase since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic: 37 new confirmed cases.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, July 8, Gov. Mark Gordon repeated calls for Wyomingites to practice social distancing and wear face coverings in public whenever possible to avoid an even larger surge of new cases.

"We don't want to see the progress that we've made unravel. We've seen that happen in other states," Gordon said, referring to surges in Arizona and Texas.

But unlike Governors of other states experiencing increased transmission, Gordon said that a statewide mask mandate is not necessary. 

"Wyoming people have a sensibility about them, a common sense nature, we don't need to make demands. We just ask and people generally will comply," Gordon said.

A graphic displayed during Wednesday's briefing labeled the rise in new cases "concerning," but indicated that the number of hospital admissions and the availability of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in Wyoming are "stable."

According to state health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist, many of Wyoming's new confirmed COVID-19 cases are among young people.

"The circulation of the virus among less vulnerable age groups that we are seeing now is a possible factor as far as how many hospitalizations and deaths we might see. But we certainly can't dismiss our new cases as somehow less dangerous," Harrist said.

Harrist emphasized that everyone is at risk for serious illness due to COVID-19, and that anyone can pass the virus along to vulnerable people.

The Governor and Dr. Harrist did not announce any new public health measures or changes to current measures during Wednesday's briefing.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Savannah Maher, at smaher4@uwyo.edu.

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