COVID-19

Bob Beck

Wyoming legislative leaders say they will delay the bulk of the 2021 legislative session until the state's COVID-19 outbreak is under control.

The Mountain West is facing a hospitalization crisis, and even states that cracked down early are feeling the effects of those that didn't.

In Washington State, the frustration is palpable.


https://www.nursetogether.com

Washakie County Commissioners have voted out their public health officer, after what some describe as a miscommunication between the commission and Dr. Ed Zimmerman.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

The Campbell County Commissioners have chosen a replacement for the late Roy Edwards. Former Campbell County Commissioner Chris Knapp will take over the term of Rep. Edwards and represent District 53 at the state legislature.

As the pandemic surges across the nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday advised against families and friends gathering for Thanksgiving. But there is one potentially safe way to see relatives and celebrate the holiday – camping.

Hospitals continue to fill up across the Mountain West, and that means some patients may have nowhere to go.


Goshen County School District

Wyoming's COVID-19 surge is having an overwhelming effect on state and local contact tracers. Public health officials might not be able to reach everyone that may have been exposed. That could have a major effect on K-12 schools around the state, since it's up to the county and district how they handle it. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Goshen County School District Superintendent Ryan Kramer about how the district has begun contact tracing all of its cases.

Nichol Bondurant

Back in early March when COVID-19 still seemed distant, Nichol Bondurant had just finished a workout in her basement.

"When I came back upstairs, I just didn't feel very good," Nichol said. "And it just kept getting worse and worse by the minute."

Ivinson Memorial Hospital


Hospital capacity is one metric that has stayed relatively stable throughout the pandemic, but in the past month, that's changed as hospitals run out of space and staffing is stretched thinner.

Catherine Wheeler

Since late September, the number of overall cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming has risen by more than 400 percent.

At a recent press conference, Gov. Mark Gordon expressed his anger over the dilemma the state finds itself in.

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Since the start of the pandemic nursing homes and long term care facilities have been on pins and needles. With some huge outbreaks in facilities across the state, leading to a number of deaths, that anxiety has skyrocketed.

Jonni Belden oversees The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center in Campbell County. She joined Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to describe the challenges they've faced keeping their older residents safe and the impacts this is having on their staff. She started the conversation by discussing challenges faced by residents.

Catlin Mary Ann Miller via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license


The pandemic has caused nationwide economic struggles, including here in Wyoming. You might be surprised to learn that it's also created a new wave of entrepreneurs.

Surgical Face Mask by NurseTogether is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Nine counties have joined three others and the Wind River Reservation in mandating masks in indoor public settings.

Sweetwater, Sheridan, Park, Lincoln, Goshen, Carbon, Sublette and Hot Springs now have a county mask mandate effective Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 4.

The vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company Moderna may be easier to distribute in the rural West, according to regional public health experts.

It can survive up to a month in a freezer, is shipped in small doses, and it doesn't need a special, ultra-cold freezer to survive – unlike the vaccine developed by the company Pfizer.


Mask Up Park County

Last week, public health officers sent a letter requesting Gov. Mark Gordon to create a statewide mask mandate as COVID-19 cases surge and hospitals are filling up. But at a press conference, Gordon did not announce any new restrictions.

Wyoming PBS

Gov. Mark Gordon is proposing more than half a billion dollars in cuts to state agencies in his supplemental budget.

At a press conference on Monday, Gordon said that after July's round of 10 percent cuts, it was time to look at which departments could absorb more.

SURGICAL FACE MASK BY NURSETOGETHER IS LICENSED UNDER CC BY-SA 4.0

Is it time for a statewide mask requirement?

By contributing your comment, you consent to the possibility of having it read on the air. 

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Going to a bar tonight in Boise, Idaho or Reno, Nev.?

There's about a 50-50 chance someone carrying COVID-19 will be there too.

 


stux (pixabay.com)

As of Thursday, November 12, almost half of Wyoming's coronavirus-related deaths were residents of a long-term care facility. That's according to a report by AARP, a non-profit dedicated to the wellbeing of people over 50. 

As hospitals around the Mountain West run out of space, some patients are fleeing to states that have more health mandates, which further burdens states that have been more aggressive in fighting COVID-19.


University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming will move forward with its plan to cut 10 percent from its budget.

The UW Board of Trustees approved the administration's $42.3 million budget reduction plan. This comes after Gov. Mark Gordon requested state agencies take a 10 percent cut from state funding due to a drop in revenue.

Wyoming PBS

Gov. Mark Gordon expressed frustration and anger at the toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on state residents.

Lakshmiprasad / Adobe Stock

Since the spring, contact tracing has been a crucial way to limit the spread of the COVID-19. But the current surge of cases in Wyoming and beyond has health departments struggling to keep up.

The news of a promising COVID-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German company BioNTech is generating optimism this week.

But in the Mountain West, there will be significant challenges in storing and distributing this type of vaccine in rural areas.

COVID-19 is surging across the Mountain West, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America held a briefing Wednesday on the many challenges facing the region as the pandemic surge continues.

In May of 2020, the Converse County trailer park quickly emptied out after the pandemic hit and oil and gas activity declined.
Cooper McKim

Gov. Mark Gordon will use $15 million in CARES Act funds to create the Energy Rebound Program, a program intended to boost oil and gas activity in Wyoming. At the moment, there are five active rigs in the state compared to 25 at the beginning of the year.

A new poll shows that half of Wyomingites are worried the worst is yet to come for the spread of COVID-19 in the state. That number is up 11 percentage points since October and 21 points since September, according to a new poll by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC).

digibarter from Pixabay

Tina Babis is originally from Romania, but has lived in Jackson Hole for ten years.

"I came here as a J1 student years ago, and then went back home," said Babis. "And then came back here with a different visa. And here I am today, living here."

The entire four-person staff of a county health department in northwest Montana resigned this week.

https://www.nursetogether.com

Albany County will join Laramie County in requiring face coverings to be worn when people are in a public place and if they are lined up outside. 

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