health

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, a new survey shows that depression is worsening across the nation and the Mountain West.


Utah Department of Health

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Colorado has been trending downward. Meanwhile, other states in the region are on the uptick.

Wyoming Department of Education

State agencies and local officials are working together to come up with plans on how to reopen schools this fall after the coronavirus pandemic required them to shut down in the spring.

The Smart Start working group is part of a COVID-19 task force started by Gov. Mark Gordon. It includes representatives from the local school districts, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) and the state's education department.

Like most health care providers across the state, Jackson Doctor Brent Blue wants people to take precautions and follow rules for social distancing. What he doesn't want to see is people panic over COVID-19. Dr. Blue tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that numbers are going up in the state and there are logical reasons for that.

According to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the nation has yet to exit the first wave of this pandemic. Cases in the Northeast and Midwest are, in general, trending downward, but the Mountain West continues to experience local surges in COVID-19.

Citizens of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe are eligible for direct COVID-19 relief funds from their tribal government. The money comes from the $10 million fund allocated to the Eastern Shoshone Tribe through the federal government's massive coronavirus stimulus bill known as the CARES Act.

Spc. Miguel Pena

Uinta County public health officials have quarantined roughly 200 individuals following a community outbreak that seems to be the result of a public gathering on May 30 where social distancing measures were not taken seriously. 

Across the nation, Black babies have some of the highest rates of infant mortalities and birth outcomes such as low birthweight, according to a new report by nonprofit Zero to Three.

 


After a failed attempt last year, Colorado lawmakers have passed a bill that would make it harder to get a vaccine exemption for school children. 

ZJ Zhang

A University of Wyoming professor has come up with a novel solution to get people, especially kids, to wash their hands for at least twenty seconds, which is how long the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends to prevent contracting COVID-19.

Cities and counties across the country are declaring that racism is a public health crisis, including at least one city in the Mountain West.

Wyoming Department of Health - State of Wyoming


In early 2020, very few people had ever heard of Dr. Alexia Harrist. Since that time, the State Health officer has become a well-known and important figure as she tries to guide the state through the COVID-19 pandemic. Harrist has lately been opening things up. She told Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that she's optimistic as the state deals with tourists and other challenges.

Public Domain


The COVID-19 pandemic has grown worse in Wyoming since the state started loosening restrictions last month, and health experts are saying the two are likely related.

Scientists at Colorado State University have developed a way to make sure blood transfusions don't transmit the COVID-19 virus, according to a new study.

 


University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has released a flexible plan to reopen this fall that will allow students to choose between in-person and online classes. With this plan, professors will offer in-person classes that follow the restrictions on large gatherings, as well as online versions of the same classes for students who opt to stay at home.

Wildfire season is upon us. As fire crews start heading out, politicians and the Trump administration are at odds over the measures needed to keep firefighters safe and on the job.

Global COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 400,000

Jun 7, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed more than 400,000 lives worldwide, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

The university's Coronavirus Resource Center noted the grim milestone on Sunday. The United States — at more than 109,000 — accounts for more than a quarter of those deaths.

The first sign that something was wrong came with stomach pains. It was April 30, and 9-year-old Kyree McBride wasn't feeling well.

His mother, Tammie Hairston, thought it might have been something that he ate. But soon, young McBride was battling a 102-degree fever.

Worried he may have contracted the coronavirus, Hairston took her son to the hospital. "It was a quick in and out of the emergency room," she said. Doctors told her to take him home and monitor him.

There have been more than 40,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in prisons and jails across 47 states. Only Idaho and Wyoming, as well as Hawaii, have yet to see a confirmed case within the inmate population in state correctional facilities, according to the nonprofit journalist outlet the Marshall Project

 


This is part of a series looking at pressing coronavirus questions of the week. We'd like to hear what you're curious about. Email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

What risks are there in attending a protest rally?

Modelers say it's difficult to assess how the protests will influence COVID-19 infections. But it's clear that a key ingredient for transmission is present at many of these rallies: close contact.

 

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has laid out its plans for spending $19 million in federal coronavirus relief aid that it received through the CARES Act. On behalf of the Northern Arapaho Business Council, Chairman Lee Spoonhunter said more than $5.2 million of the aid will be disbursed directly to tribal citizens who have taken a financial hit due to the pandemic.

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally approaches 6.5 million, scientists are racing to develop a vaccine. Currently, there are 10 vaccine candidates in development around the world that are in the beginnings of human trials.

Savannah Maher

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Business Councils have extended a strict stay-at-home order and nightly 9 p.m. curfew on the Wind River Reservation, measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Tribal members will continue to face tribal court fines and potential jail time for violations at least through the month of June.

Some outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people will be permitted in Wyoming this summer. Gov. Mark Gordon announced the revision to a state public health order during a press briefing on Wednesday.

Researchers in Utah are in the process of testing about 10,000 people for COVID-19 and antibodies against the virus that causes it.

“People have talked about how we see the tip of the iceberg with the formalized testing that we have,” said Dr. Stephen Alder, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah and one of the project’s leaders. “We're trying to look at, ‘All right, how much of the iceberg is underwater?’ This is a good way to do that.”

You've probably heard about all the companies stepping up to help deal with the COVID-19 crisis: distilleries making hand sanitizer, outdoor clothing companies sewing face masks.

But what about the lack of quarantine spaces?

Hospital finances around the nation have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes Wyoming hospitals as they had to stop providing the non-essential services that make up a huge percentage of their revenue for a period of time. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with the president of the Wyoming Hospital Association Eric Boley on the situation in our state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clarifying its guidance to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, hoping to clear up confusion over whether a person can contract the disease by touching surfaces that have the virus on them. The agency said "usability improvements," including a headline change on its webpage about preventing viral infection, seemed to trigger news stories saying its guidelines have changed.

"Our transmission language has not changed," CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes told NPR.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week revised downward its estimates for future infections and deaths from the coronavirus, painting a picture of the pandemic that some scientists say is overly optimistic — and that plays into fears the agency could be responding to political pressure.

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