Coronavirus In Wyoming: Resources & News

Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. 

Updated 1/22/21 3:30 p.m.

On Friday, the Wyoming Department of Health reported 21 more coronavirus-related fatalities, bringing the state's death toll to 571.

The deaths were among residents in ten counties, with Laramie County having the highest numbers.

Eighteen of the people who died had been hospitalized. Fourteen were at higher risk of serious illness related to the virus, and thirteen were older adults. The department also reported 159 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19.

There have been 50,583 cases total, and there are currently 1,696 active cases in Wyoming. According to the latest, self-reported hospital data, 75 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state.

On Thursday, WDH received 9,000 doses of the first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. WDH has reported administering 64 percent of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines and nearly 26 percent of the second dose vaccine has been administered.

Here are the numbers of lab-confirmed total cases broken down by county: Laramie 6,721; Natrona 5,539; Campbell 4,094; Fremont 3,737; Albany 3,359; Sweetwater 3,251; Teton 2,796; Park 2,359; Sheridan 2,288; Uinta 1,575; Carbon 1,048, Goshen 1,010; Lincoln 936; Big Horn 786; Washakie 676; Converse 527; Sublette and Weston counties each have 518; Crook 374; Johnson 372; Platte 346; Hot Springs 258; Niobrara 63.

Since March, 48,316 people have recovered from the virus.

(Commercial labs are required to report positive test results to WDH; negative results are not reported consistently.) 

Wyoming's Vaccine Plan

Wyoming has chosen to give each county the ability to control it's COVID-19 vaccine roll out. The federal government has allotted a certain amount of vaccine doses to Wyoming. The Wyoming Department of Health has taken that number and rationed it out to each county by population. The department of health has taken the general federal roll out guidelines and amended them to the state as needed. This has resulted with two priority groups.

Each local county health department is in charge of the vaccine roll out for their communities. This means counties are moving at different speeds down the priority groups. To find more information about where your county is at with the vaccine roll out, go to your counties public health department's website.

Governor Mark Gordon's Press Briefings

Press Conference on COVID-19, November 16th, 2020

 

State Orders -- Updated January 21, 2021

The Wyoming State Health Officer has issued the following public health orders:

The Wyoming Department of Health is requiring face coverings that cover the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face in indoor public places. This includes businesses (commercial or retail) that employ or engage workers or volunteers. The face covering needs to be worn when in line to enter any public institution, obtain services at healthcare operations and when waiting for or riding on public transportation. This order does not apply to anyone under twelve years of age. The order is effective through Febuary 14th, 2021.

Statewide Gatherings

On January 2nd, Governor Mark Gordon announced return to normal operating hours for bars and restaurants effective January 9th. This also allows gyms to increase the number of participants in group fitness classes from 10 to 25.

On January 21st, Governor Mark Gordon eased gathering restrictions in the state. As of January 26th, indoor gatherings up to 25 percent of the capacity are allowed. And outdoor gatherings of up to 500 persons may occur. These gatherings must incorporate social distancing and face coverings.

The orders, which remain in effect through January 25, 2021, allow outdoor gatherings of no more than 50% of venue capacity, with a maximum of 250 people as long as social distancing and increased sanitization measures are in place. Indoor gatherings in a confined space are limited to 10 persons.

The public health orders also restrict other public gathering areas, including salons, movie theatres, performance venues, as well as churches, faith-based organizations, and funeral homes. For more details to each of the restrictions, please see links to public health orders above.

The prohibition does not apply to gatherings at private residences, hotels and motels for lodging purposes, government facilities and businesses, grocery stores and retail or business establishments that can provide adequate social distance spacing of 6 feet or more. Healthcare facilities are also exempt, as are long-term care and assisted living facilities that are complying with Wyoming Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control directives.

On June 16, 2020 the Wyoming Department of Health announced it will now allow in-person visits at long-term care facilities, but under specific guidelines. Visits will only take place in a designated outdoor space, and will be limited to two visitors at a time. Also, visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, and they'll have to wear a face covering, while staff and residents will need to wear a surgical face mask. Additionally, a facility staff member trained in patient safety and infection control measures must remain with the resident at all times during the visit. As facilities decide whether or not to allow visits, WDH is asking them to consider local conditions.

Wyoming Public Media would like to thank and recognize all health care workers, doctors, nurses caregivers, grocery store workers, truck drivers, and delivery workers during the global pandemic.

News & Updates:

Resources:

Do you have specific questions about the virus in Wyoming, you or your family’s health, what this means for your job, your home and your town's economy? Please submit them here and we'll do our best to report the information you need.

We also want to hear from you on how your community is responding. Tell us what you're seeing, hearing and experiencing in your neighborhood, grocery store and beyond.

On social media, use the hashtag #COVID19WY.

Ways to Connect

Credit: Bastian Weltjen / Adobe Stock

About a third of Americans living in rural areas say they probably or definitely would not get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

When the COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will partner with retail pharmacies such as Costco and Walgreen to help distribute them. But a new analysis of rural counties finds that as many as 750 counties don't have one of those pharmacies.

U.S. Secretary of Defense

It has been about three weeks since Wyoming received its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Since then, the state has been busy trying to get the vaccine out to the first priority groups.

Once the first vaccine shipments came to Wyoming, the state's department of health and local experts took federal guidance and amended it for the state.

Will Laegried

The University of Wyoming (UW) has prioritized testing for its community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its testing program started at the beginning of the school year and has been an important tool as UW monitored the presence of the virus.

Melodie Edwards

Right when the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved, the federal government started shipping boxes to states, and the Moderna vaccine was only a week behind. Since then Wyoming has received over 25,000 doses, but only 35 percent of those have been administered as of January 7.

https://www.wyomingsense.gov/cares-act


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act, was the largest stimulus bill ever passed in the United States. Wyoming's cut - $1.25 billion - went to various sectors of the economy, but there's criticism of how that money was split up and concerns that the state will need more funding as the pandemic continues.

The family of Sharon Widener

Nearly 500 Wyomingites have died from the coronavirus since April. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler brings us this obituary of Cheyenne resident Sharon Widener.

Widener died on Oct. 29, 2020 from COVID-19. Widener is survived by her two children, a granddaughter, her siblings and extended family. Widener's daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and Tim Thorson remember her life.

The U.S. saw its highest number of COVID-19 deaths this week. Meanwhile, in Montana, the newly elected governor is planning to rescind its statewide mask order.

 


Official VA Photo by Cynthia Neukam

The Sheridan VA has begun to vaccinate employees and high-risk veterans with a COVID-19 vaccine.

The health system in Sheridan received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on December 22. As of Wednesday, January 6,171 employees and 49 veterans have been vaccinated with the first of two doses.

Some of the largest and most deadly COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred in our country's prisons. The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that incarcerated people be included in phase 1B of vaccine distribution. But most states in the Mountain West are breaking with that guidance.

Giving and full of light. That's how family and friends described May Bunjes. The 71-year-old community advocate died of COVID-19 in November. Now her family is using her death as a rallying cry.

In Weld County, Colorado – where officials have dismissed state health orders meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 – she was a court-appointed special advocate for abused children for more than 20 years.

Dulce Leyva is a bilingual contact tracer who lives in Reno, Nevada. Her job is to reach out to people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and make sure they're self-isolating. And she tries to help them remember who they've been around and could have been exposed to the virus.

Robert Kaufmann, https://nara.getarchive.net/

A state program designed to help Wyoming tenants pay rent through the pandemic dispersed just a tenth of its original allotment; the rest of that money was redirected to other areas, such as oil and gas.

Melodie Edwards

The pandemic has worsened food, health and housing insecurity across the country and in Wyoming. A new study shows that for many families in the state, these issues are front and center.

The Food Bank for Larimer County’s warehouse in Loveland looks like a factory assembly line. People are busy preparing and packing provisions for when the doors open in an hour.

"Cookies, protein bars, coffee – a little of everything," says volunteer Ruben Marez. "I kind of like to mix and match."

Every year Marez travels to volunteer with the Red Cross and help with disaster relief. This year, he decided he was needed close to home and began volunteering at the onset of the pandemic.

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