Rising COVID-19 Numbers Have Officials Nervous

Jul 2, 2020

Credit Wyoming Department of Health - State of Wyoming

Wyoming continues to see new COVID-19 cases at a very high rate, and it has some officials nervous as the fourth of July weekend looms. State Health Officer Alexia Harrist said at a news conference that people need to social distance and start wearing face coverings in order to stop the surge.

She said it's becoming clear what factors have driven the numbers up.

"Gatherings at bars and restaurants has been one of those factors. You know keeping social distancing in those environments remains critical. Certainly types of gatherings where people have been in close contact with one and other has played a role," said Harrist. But she added that outdoor activities have gone ok.

"We have not seen large outdoor gatherings yet be linked to an increase in cases."

Governor Mark Gordon also urged people to wear face coverings and social distance by referring it to a game of chicken, which he said usually doesn't end well.

Harrist said currently Wyoming has nine people admitted in hospitals, but she worries that number could be on the verge of rising.

"One possibility for why we're not seeing it right now could be that there is a delay in when we see increases in cases and increases in hospitalizations," noted Harrist. "Based on the fact that we know that some people don't become severely ill with COVID-19 until late into their first week or second week of illness. So that is a possibility that we have to look for and plan for," she added.

Harrist said if they start seeing hospital beds start to fill-up, they will have to consider stronger health orders.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Bob Beck, at btwo@uwyo.edu.