Park County Braces For Holiday Weekend Amid COVID-19 Surge

Jul 2, 2020

Cody Stampede Rodeo, July 1, 2020
Credit Kamila Kudelska

With the Fourth of July holiday weekend fast approaching, Park County health officials are worried because of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

Well into June, Park County had just two cases of COVID-19. But over the last week and a half, that number quickly jumped to nearly 50 cases.

Park County Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin said most of the new cases can be traced back to large gatherings after June 19th. Those gatherings included weddings, retirement parties and hanging at bars and restaurants. He said the cases are primarily among young people without pre-existing illnesses who aren't social distancing or wearing face coverings.

"The young and healthy have been the first to venture out to gatherings, public establishments, and parties as the restrictions have been relaxed," he said. "So, I think it's been related to probably the relaxation of restrictions."

He said with the holiday weekend upon us, people need to prioritize social distancing and wear face coverings to stop the spread as much as possible. Especially as the main events, the Cody Stampede Rodeo and the parade, are still moving forward.

"We do worry. I've been in touch with the president of the board of the Cody Stampede Rodeo. They are being extra cautious," said Billin. "They are doing everything they promised to do in their [exemption from state restrictions]."

Billin said with the combination of the holiday weekend and an increase in tourism, residents and businesses need to work together to limit the spread of the virus. Billin added when people are not able to keep six feet distance from other groups outside they should be wearing masks.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu