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March 20th, 2020

Loring Schaible

Listen to the full show here.

"My Mom Has The Coronavirus, And I Had To Jump Through Hoops To Find That Out."



It's been a busy week for confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state with many wondering why the testing has been limited. This issue is limited numbers of test kits. State Department of Health Spokeswoman Kim Deti says medical providers are deciding which patients to test, and prioritizing those at highest risk.

But one COVID-19 patient in Lander - who's one of 9 residents and staff at Showboat Retirement Center who tested positive - was initially passed over for a test at SageWest hospital. That's according to her daughter, Tesla Meyer. Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher spoke with her - Meyer says her mother rode a senior center bus to St. John's Medical Clinic in Lander last Friday to get treated for a severe cough.

With Nearly Half Of Wyoming's Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Fremont County Locks Down


Fremont County currently has the highest number of known COVID-19 cases in Wyoming - nine out of 20 that have been confirmed in our state by Friday. Eight of Fremont County's cases are residents or staff members at Lander's Showboat Retirement Center, and state health officials say the ninth case is directly related to that cluster.


Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher has been reporting from Lander. She talked with Bob Beck about news that one of those Lander patients was initially denied testing, and how the city and county are responding to the pandemic.


Private prisons are often touted as a good source of jobs and economic prosperity for communities. But how do those jobs compare to the ones in government-run facilities?


As part of our series Private Prisons: Locking In The Facts, and with the support of the Pulitzer Center, the Mountain West News Bureau’s Noah Glick took a look and found there’s no clear answer.


In the final part of our series on the private prison industry we are looking at how these large corporations are moving into a new sector – rehab and reentry services. Things like mental health counseling, drug treatment, electronic monitoring, and halfway houses. With support from the Pulitzer Center our Mountain West News Bureau’s Ali Budner reports, this shift is at the crux of a recent conflict in Colorado.


"Separate Together": Staying Sane During Quarantine


As people follow recommendations to stay home in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, some folks are left totally alone. That can be disruptive to mental health—especially in a state with one of the leading suicide rates. Wyoming Public Radio’s Erin Jones reports.


Across Mountain West, Scientists Have The Same Goal: Take Down COVID-19


Scientists are working hard to understand what we can do about COVID-19. As Rae Ellen Bichell reports, that includes a few groups in the Mountain West.


UW Chinese International Students Share Their First Encounters With COVID-19


With COVID-19 showing up in Wyoming, we thought we would speak to a couple of University of Wyoming students from China who were in their country around the time the outbreak occurred. Naina Rao says they already experienced many things people in the United States are going through now.


Wyoming's Public Records Ombudsman Says Thing Are Going Smoothly



Over the years there’s been a conflict between news, advocacy organizations and members of the public versus government agencies when it comes to documents and information.  Many times these issues go to court.  In an effort to make all sides play better together, the legislature created the position of Ombudsman to settle these disputes.  Ruth Van Mark joins us to discuss her role in the state.



Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
Erin Jones is Wyoming Public Radio's cultural affairs producer, as well as the host and senior producer of HumaNature. She began her audio career as an intern in the Wyoming Public Radio newsroom, and has reported on issues ranging from wild horse euthanization programs to the future of liberal arts in universities. Her audio work has been featured on WHYY Philadelphia’s The Pulse and the podcast Out There.
Naina Rao comes to Wyoming Public Radio from Jakarta, Indonesia. She has worked at NPR for Story Lab and the nationally syndicated show, "1A". Naina graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with a B.A. in Journalism. Naina enjoys swimming, listening to podcasts and watching Bollywood movies.
Nate is UM School of Journalism reporter. He reads the news on Montana Public Radio three nights a week.
Rae Ellen Bichell is a reporter for NPR's Science Desk. She first came to NPR in 2013 as a Kroc fellow and has since reported Web and radio stories on biomedical research, global health, and basic science. She won a 2016 Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award from the Foundation for Biomedical Research. After graduating from Yale University, she spent two years in Helsinki, Finland, as a freelance reporter and Fulbright grantee.
Savannah comes to Wyoming Public Media from NPR’s midday show Here & Now, where her work explored everything from Native peoples’ fraught relationship with American elections to the erosion of press freedoms for tribal media outlets. A proud citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, she’s excited to get to know the people of the Wind River reservation and dig into the stories that matter to them.