Coronavirus In Wyoming: Resources & News

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

The Latest News On COVID-19 In Wyoming 

Updated 10:40 a.m. MDT 3/26/2020

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming has reached 53. Laramie County numbers continue to climb with two new cases tying it with Fremont for the highest confirmed cases with 14.

Teton County now has 7 cases and Johnson County reported its first case.

Natrona County has 6 cases with multiple cases also in Carbon and Sheridan counties.

Additionally, Albany, Campbell, Park and Sweetwater have reported one confirmed case each.

As of 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory completed 865 tests for COVID-19. There are 239 tests reported by commercial labs, though negative test results are not reported consistently. The Centers for Disease Control completed one test.

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

State Orders

Governor Mark Gordon has supported a statewide order issued by the state health officer prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more in a single room or confined space. The order does provide some exemptions.

The order supplements a statewide order issued March 19 that closed bars, restaurants, theaters, gymnasiums, some child care facilities and schools. Many restaurants remain open with carry out, delivery and drive thru service only.

The state of Wyoming issued an order to close all non-essential personal services. The closure applies to cosmetology services including nail salons and barber shops. It will also affect massage parlors, tattoo, body art and piercing shops. The order begins Wednesday, March 25, and lasts until April 3.

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.

Wyoming Public Media would like to thank and recognize all health care workers, doctors, nurses and care givers 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

Walk into many grocery stores these days, and you’ll see two things: crowds and empty shelves. You may also notice narrow aisles and checkout lines that make it hard to practice the social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While many businesses are shutting down to help stop the spread of COVID-19, grocery stores don’t have that luxury. And grocery workers like cashiers don’t make that much - at most, around $15 an hour. But like health care workers, they’re considered essential.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

In a wide-ranging, digressive news conference Sunday evening, President Trump said he has activated the National Guard to assist New York, California and Washington, states that so far have been hit hardest by the coronavirus.

The United States is heading into a very sharp downturn in the next three months. That much seems certain.

What is unique this time is that we as a country are willing it to happen.

Collectively — intentionally — we are putting much of the economy on lockdown. The priorities are clear: save lives and keep hospitals and emergency rooms from being overwhelmed. For now, that means America is an economic ghost town.

San Miguel County in Colorado announced this week it plans to test everyone in the county for COVID-19. And they’ll be using a blood test rather than the usual nose-and-throat swabs. 

The test typically being used at this point involves a method called PCR, which looks for pieces of the virus’ RNA in a person’s nose and throat. It only shows if someone is actively fighting and shedding the virus.

Sometime around Valentine's Day, a box arrived at a lab on the western edge of Fort Collins, Colorado. It contained vials full of coronavirus and it was just what Lindsay Hartson and her colleagues had been waiting for.

"We were really excited because it meant we could start doing the work," said Hartson.

Updated at 8:55 p.m. ET

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife have both tested negative for COVID-19, his office announced on Saturday.

"Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence," Katie Miller, the vice president's press secretary, said in a tweet.

Rural hospitals may not be able to keep their doors open as the coronavirus pandemic saps their cash, their CEOs warn, just as communities most need them.

Ling Li

Ling Li was on vacation with her family for winter break, in the province of Hainan, China, when the country confirmed its initial cases of coronavirus.

The National Congress of American Indians warned reporters in a press conference Friday that COVID-19 is a “recipe for a disaster” for tribal nations. 

Cooper McKim; Stitches website

On March 12, Amy Surdam and her husband Dr. Dan Surdam waged war on COVID-19. The two Wyoming residents own Stitches Acute Care - a clinic in Laramie, Cheyenne and Wellington, Colorado. The clinics have transformed into a testing and treatment center for the global pandemic at a local level as well as an information hub for the whole state. Amy and Dan Surdam tell the story of how their world has changed in just a week.

Erin Jones

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.

Charles Willgren via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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.

Loring Schaible

It's been a busy week for newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming. Still, many in our state are wondering why so few tests have been administered. State Department of Health Spokeswoman Kim Deti told Wyoming Public Media that amid a shortage of tests, medical providers are prioritizing those at highest risk.

It's unclear whether people who recover from COVID-19 will be immune to reinfection from the coronavirus and, if so, how long that immunity will last.

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."

The global spread of COVID-19 cases continues, with cases around the world and increasingly strict measures to control its spread. Authorities in the U.S. and other countries have banned or discouraged large gatherings and are urging social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

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