health

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment for its members.

State of Wyoming

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon says despite calls to reopen businesses he prefers to take a more conservative approach as Wyoming approaches the COVID-19 peak for the state.

He speaks to Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck about his thoughts on keeping people isolated, dealing with an economic downturn, and what's in store for the state.

health.wyo.gov

Two Wyoming State Hospital patients have tested positive for the coronavirus. Two adult females were transferred to the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston from a Casper behavioral health facility for reasons not connected to COVID-19 initially. 

CDC

The Wyoming Department of Health announced it will start updating the number of probable COVID-19 cases in addition to lab confirmed cases. These are individuals that have taken the COVID-19 test and received a positive. While a probable case is someone who has had close contact with a lab-confirmed case and has symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Savannah Maher

Members of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes now face fines of up to $150 and even jail time for violating a stay-at-home order on the Wind River Reservation.

Jared King (Navajo Nation Washington Office) / Flickr Creative Commons

The massive federal relief package called the CARES Act includes an $8 billion tribal stabilization fund, meant to keep tribal governments afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But the fine print of the law entitles Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) to a slice of that fund as well.

Star Valley Health

Nationally, New York, South Dakota and many other states are experiencing an overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients. But Wyoming isn't projected to reach its peak number of coronavirus cases until early May.

Vanessa Hoene


The coronavirus doesn't discriminate and can spread to anyone. Including pregnant mothers like Vanessa Hoene.

The Trump administration announced new guidelines Thursday for states to reopen businesses and schools and relax social distancing measures, but public health experts say the plan skirts a major hurdle needed to safely get things moving: a shortage of tests for the coronavirus.

NIH

Allergy season is here. For many of us, that means lots of sneezing and itchy eyes. So how can you tell the difference between seasonal allergies and something more serious, like COVID-19?

Being able to test for coronavirus infections is a critical component to reopening society — even a little bit — after the initial wave of COVID-19. So there is an urgent need for faster, cheaper tests than the ones available at present.

President Trump spoke to governors Thursday, outlining recommendations for states to reopen based on several factors.

The Trump administration has shared a guideline of three phases for states to begin easing social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders, according to a copy of the guidelines obtained by NPR's Tamara Keith.

The U.S. Postal Service is in trouble. It was already losing billions of dollars every year. Then COVID-19 happened.

Wind River Family and Community Healthcare/Lisa Yawakia

COVID-19 testing resources remain limited around Wyoming and the country. But one clinic that's operated by the Northern Arapaho Tribe has emerged as a leader in the state when it comes to testing.

cBill Oxford / Unsplash

As shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders get extended further into the year, some local governments across the Mountain West are threatening jail to enforce those orders. But groups like the American Civil Liberties Union say that's the wrong approach.

Wind River Hotel and Casino

 

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes' casinos have been shut down for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And they're not alone. Across the country, more than 500 tribal gaming enterprises have closed their doors. That means an abrupt loss of revenue for tribal governments, which, unlike cities and states, don't have a tax base to fall back on.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Shelby, Mont. is home to a lot of wheat and barley fields, a decent high school football team, and an Amtrak train that passes through town twice a day. It's a place where almost everyone knows everyone. 

"The people here are fantastic," says William Kiefer, CEO of the only hospital in the county that offers 24/7 emergency medical services. "There's a huge sense of community."

So when people began getting sick and even dying from COVID-19, it hit hard. 

First things first: It's not yet time to end social distancing and go back to work and church and concerts and handshakes.

Public health experts say social distancing appears to be working, and letting up these measures too soon could be disastrous. Until there is a sustained reduction in new cases — and the coronavirus' spread is clearly slowing — we need to stay the course.

"We regret the decision of the president of the United States to order a halt in funding to the World Health Organization," WHO Direct0r-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday in response to President Trump's plan to stop U.S. money from going to the agency.

The U.S. is the top contributor to the WHO, which is leading the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

There was the hiker who broke his leg, then refused to put on a mask before the alpine rescue team helped him down the mountain. There were the snowboarders and skiers packing together into cars to drive up to a closed ski area. Or the people howling at the full moon, over open flames.

Bruce Snelling, undersheriff with Clear Creek County in Colorado, said all of these incidents have happened in recent weeks. And until Saturday, there wasn’t too much he could do about it. But now, the county’s public health order lays out some harsh penalties for non-residents using county roads to get to the backcountry: a fine of up to $5,000 or up to 18 months in the county jail.  

For the billions of people now living under some form of stay-at-home or lockdown orders, experts from the World Health Organization have new guidance: We should be ready to "change our behaviors for the foreseeable future," they say, as the agency updates its advice on when to lift COVID-19 lockdown orders.

The question of when to ease shutdowns is a hot topic, as economic output is stalled in many countries — including the U.S., now the epicenter of the global pandemic.

Dozens of blood tests are rapidly coming on the market to identify people who have been exposed to the coronavirus by checking for antibodies against it.

The Food and Drug Administration doesn't set standards for these kinds of tests, but even those that meet the government's informal standard may produce many false answers and provide false assurances. The imperfect results could be a big disappointment to people who are looking toward these tests to help them return to something resembling a normal life.

Leading the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the coronavirus pandemic may be one of the most thankless jobs in government right now. Governors are clamoring for more supplies, like ventilators and face masks. The president engages in public feuds with those governors.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Americans have faced world wars, economic recessions, and even other pandemics. Some people have lived through all three. I sought out senior citizens to see how the COVID-19 pandemic compares to other crises – and what we might be able to learn from them.

When the call came from the local health department in northeast Nebraska, Katie Berger was waiting. She had already gotten a text from the salon where she'd gotten her hair done recently, telling her that one of the stylists had COVID-19. She knew she was at risk.

It’s hard to keep some items stocked in stores these days. We’ve all heard about the toilet paper shortage. But what about eggs?


Sheridan College

A local education foundation, Whitney Benefits, has donated a 3D printer along with supplies to Sheridan College.

Its donation will help the college to make personal protective equipment, or (PPE) in response to an increase in demand after one of the college's printers broke. The gift totals approximately $28,000.

CDC

Wyoming has reported its first death related to COVID-19. Wyoming Department of Health Spokeswoman Kim Deti said the elderly Johnson County man died last week. Deti added that the man's health and age put him at risk for the illness.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 may or may not be immune to getting sick again – and it's too soon to know how long any immunity might last, World Health Organization experts say. The appraisal comes as WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says COVID-19 is "10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic."

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