Coronavirus In Wyoming: Resources & News

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

Updated 1/26/21 3:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) reported 25 more coronavirus-related deaths in the state. All but two of the fatalities were among older adults who also had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to the virus. Eighteen had been hospitalized, and 11 were residents of local long-term care facilities. Wyoming's death toll is now 596.

The WDH also reported 90 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. There have been 51,152 cases total, and there are currently 1,288 active cases in Wyoming. According to the latest, self-reported hospital data, 71 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state.

So far, WDH received 49,550 doses of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. And 22,275 doses of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine have been received. WDH has reported administering close to 69 percent of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines and over 23 percent of the second dose vaccine has been administered.

Here are the numbers of lab-confirmed total cases broken down by county: Laramie 6,767; Natrona 5,604; Campbell 4,118; Fremont 3,779; Albany 3,385; Sweetwater 3,287; Teton 2,919; Park 2,369; Sheridan 2,299; Uinta 1,617; Carbon 1,077, Goshen 1,013; Lincoln 949; Big Horn 790; Washakie 685; Converse 530; Sublette 522; Weston 518; Crook 375; Johnson 374; Platte 349; Hot Springs 263; and Niobrara 62.

Since March, 49,268 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

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.

Eugene Gagliano

It's safe to say that 2020 has been a very difficult, trying year for a lot of people across the world. Wyoming's Poet Laureate, Eugene Gagliano, agrees. But the pandemic also made him realize a different perspective—how grateful he was to be living in the state of Wyoming.

He shared his perspective by writing a poem, called The Blessing of Wyoming. And it got published in the New York Times. He recited the poem during his conversation with Wyoming Public Radio's Naina Rao.

http://www.donlonfh.com/

The numbers of cases and deaths related to COVID-19 have dominated most media headlines this year. And funeral homes in Wyoming are included in that story. 

Public Domain


This week, Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen hosted a Facebook Live event with Dr. Rupali Limaye of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine. In case you missed it, we've put together some highlights for you to hear, starting with what it means that a recent survey found that most — but not all — Wyomingites say they would be willing to get vaccinated against the virus.

Catherine Wheeler

With COVID-19's effects on business throughout the state, there have been concerns how all of Wyoming's small businesses are faring especially during this holiday season. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce CEO Dixie Johnson about how Sheridan businesses have adapted this year. Johnson began by describing how a local holiday tradition was affected.

Cooper McKim

The holiday season is upon us and with it comes the Festival of Lights, better known as Hanukkah. Folks around the country are lighting their menorahs, including here in Wyoming. Cooper McKim spoke with Seth Ward, University of Wyoming professor of religious studies, about the holiday's special meaning this year.

Public Domain

This year, the holidays are looking different for many people across Wyoming. With concerns about spreading COVID-19 to loved ones, some are opting to stay home this holiday season. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler brings us this postcard from some who are spending their first holiday alone.

Catherine Wheeler

The Veterans' Home of Wyoming is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. As of Thursday, Dec. 17, more than half of the residents have tested positive.

It's been a tough year for gas and oil prices, but solar power has seen steady growth during this pandemic year. 

SALFALKO / FLICKER, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

AARP is a non-profit dedicated to the wellness of people over 50. It partnered with Miami University in Ohio to provide four-week snapshots of COVID-19's impact on nursing homes residents and staff in states across the country.

Magellan Healthcare

Following Gov. Mark Gordon's request for an additional $500 million funding cut, the Wyoming Department of Health has come up with a way to shave close to $47 million from its general fund budget.

Off Square Theatre Company

Theatre and performance institutions throughout the state have suffered during the pandemic but grants are helping out. The National Endowment for the Arts has provided a grant to the Off Square Theatre Company in Jackson.

screen shot by Tennessee Watson

On Monday, Dec. 14, the Joint Appropriations Committee heard Wyoming Department of Family Services' Director Korin Schmidt present her department's plan to cut its budget. This comes after Gov. Mark Gorden announced last month he wanted the state budget reduced by an additional $500 million, following 10 percent cuts in July.

Panic buying has slowed down considerably since this spring, but one thing still lingering is higher demand for meat that's easier for people to cook themselves.


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