Coronavirus In Wyoming: Resources & News

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

Updated 1/15/21 3:30 p.m.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) reported 208 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

There have been 48,909 cases total, and there are currently 1,885 active cases in Wyoming. According to the latest, self-reported hospital data, 89 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state. The state's death toll remains at 522 people.

So far, WDH has reported administering about 52 percent of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. While about 22 percent of the second dose vaccine has been administered.

Here are the numbers of lab-confirmed total cases broken down by county: Laramie 6,555; Natrona 5,350; Campbell 4,024; Fremont 3,657; Albany 3,307; Sweetwater 3,136; Teton 2,530; Park 2,250; Sheridan 2,227; Uinta 1,499; Carbon 1,010, Goshen 976; Lincoln 905; Big Horn 764; Washakie 663; Sublette 527; Converse 521; Weston 517; Crook 368; Johnson 357; Platte 338; Hot Springs 229; Niobrara 63.

Since March, 46,502 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 2, 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 on December 9 through January 8, 2021.

Statewide Gatherings

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

On December 7, the Wyoming State Health Officer has issued the following public health orders:

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

UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

There is a lot of confidence from Wyoming's health officer over the possibility of a vaccine being made available to state residents. But it might take a while before most of us get access to a vaccine, that's because a couple of them are still in the trial phase. Companies are testing vaccines using people from across the country.

One person who's part of the process is Madelyn Beck, she's a former reporter for Wyoming Public Radio who's been closing following COVID-19 as part of her current job as a reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau. She spoke with Bob Beck about what the testing process is like and what interested her in becoming a guinea pig for the secret serum.

University of Wyoming, University of Colorado Boulder


As the FDA considers the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine this week, figures around the U.S., including here in Wyoming, are calling into question the vaccine and the approval process it's going through.

Olivia Weitz


Every year, fifth grade elementary school students from Teton County and students from across the nation spend an entire weekend at Teton Science Schools' Kelly Campus in Grand Teton National Park where they bond with their classmates and learn about wildlife. But, due to the pandemic, overnight programs for local and out of state students were canceled.

In fact, an estimated 30 percent of outdoor education organizations nationwide will be forced to shut their doors by the end of the year. That's according to a survey funded by the National Science Foundation. Teton Science Schools is staying open, but it's required some big changes, especially for its field education branch.

Sam Beebe via CC BY 2.0

Washakie County School District #1 in Worland is having a substitute shortage. But that's nothing new.

"It's always an issue. Most of the time we do pretty well, this year, the problems have been exacerbated primarily because we're having more staff out for longer periods of time due to quarantines," said Jack Stott, the district's business manager.

The U.S. hit a horrific milestone this week: More than 3,000 COVID-19 fatalities in just one day. But rising deaths do not necessarily translate into rising concern.


New Mexico and Colorado put limitations in place back in the spring and summer, respectively. And Nevada recently tightened its capacity restrictions even further to 25%. 

Anti-mask and anti-lockdown protesters are targeting public health officials and politicians in parts of the Mountain West – sometimes at their own homes.


Public Domain

Some residents in Campbell County are voicing their anger over the state's new mask mandate and other health orders.

Campbell County commissioners held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss Gov. Mark Gordon's recent updates to health restrictions, including a statewide mask order.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming plans to start the spring semester classes on January 21. In-person instruction will begin on January 25, with plans to move completely to online classes after a short spring break in April.

In April, Google and Apple launched software that state health authorities can use to build COVID-19 contact tracing apps. But fewer than half of U.S. states have taken advantage, and most people living in those states aren't putting the apps to use.

In the Mountain West, Colorado's Exposure Notifications app has had the most success, with about 20% of the state's population having downloaded it. But fewer than 3% of Wyoming and Nevada residents have downloaded their states' smartphone apps.

Civic Theater Group

The Civic Theater Guild in Sheridan is putting on a virtual holiday performance.

The theater group will put on a version of the classic, "It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," but instead of an in-person performance, they've adapted the show to be an actual broadcast.

Wyoming Arts Council

The pandemic has impacted all corners of the economy including the arts. Those in the art world have lost out on gallery openings, ticket sales for in-person events, and both corporate and philanthropic giving.

Sue Reynolds

Since August of 2019, there has been a 200 percent increase in teachers, administrators, and the public utilizing a free web service called Everyday Native. It's an online resource that aims to provide educational material.

https://www.nursetogether.com

Saying that too many people have died, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon issued a statewide mask order from Wednesday, Dec. 9 until Jan. 8, 2021.

Additional orders also close bars and restaurants at 10:00 p.m. and limit the amount of people in most of those facilities to 10 people. Exercise classes in gyms will also be reduced to 10.

Production at the Decker Mine according to a federal database
U.S. Energy Information Administration

Utah-based Lighthouse Resources has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will work on a reclamation plan for the Decker Mine in Montana. The company, with Wyoming employees, will lay-off more than half of its employees throughout its operations.

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