Coronavirus In Wyoming: Resources & News

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

Updated 1/13/21 3:30 p.m.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) reported 217 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The biggest jump by far was in Natrona County, where 52 confirmed cases were added.

Tuesday, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) reported 33 more coronavirus-related fatalities, bringing the state's death toll to 522. The deaths were among residents in 11 counties, with Campbell and Laramie having the highest numbers. Fourteen were residents of local long-term care facilities, while 19 had been hospitalized. At least half were at higher risk of serious illness related to the virus, and 26 were older adults.

There have been 48,289 cases total, and there are currently 1,863 active cases in Wyoming. According to the latest, self-reported hospital data, 82 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state.

The state received over 15,000 more vaccine doses for the first round from the federal government. So far, WDH has reported administering about 38 percent of the first dose of vaccines the state has received. While 44 percent of the second dose vaccine has been administered.

Here are the numbers of lab-confirmed total cases broken down by county: Laramie 6,462; Natrona 5,294; Campbell 3,987; Fremont 3,636; Albany 3,300; Sweetwater 3,098; Teton 2,435; Sheridan 2,206; Park 2,205; Uinta 1,480; Carbon 1,006, Goshen 976; Lincoln 904; Big Horn 745; Washakie 657; Sublette 525; Converse 517; Weston 516; Crook 366; Johnson 350; Platte 329; Hot Springs 227; Niobrara 62.

Since March, 45,904 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

This is part of a new 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."

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday declared that the coronavirus pandemic is a national emergency, a designation that frees up as much as $50 billion in federal assistance to state and local governments overwhelmed by the spread of the virus, and makes it easier to surge medical resources to areas that need them most.

Remote rural towns are a good place to be early in a pandemic, as they tend to be more spread out, which potentially means fewer chances to catch a bug. Remote rural areas are also, by definition, way removed from major seaports, airports and often even big highways. So it generally takes longer for new viruses to show up in tiny towns, like Fredonia, Kan.

"I always say it's a hundred miles from anywhere," says Cassie Edson, with the Wilson County Health Department. "It's a hundred miles from Wichita, a hundred miles to Joplin, a hundred miles to Tulsa."

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

Top state officials on Thursday said the risk for the coronavirus in the state remains low.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) said there is still only one reported case of COVID-19 in the state. A woman in Sheridan County was confirmed to have the coronavirus on Wednesday, March 11.

public domain

In an announcement made Thursday afternoon, Acting University of Wyoming President Neil Theobald said spring break would be extended to two weeks, with students returning on March 30. And while the university is holding off on moving classes completely online, the extended break is meant to give faculty time to prepare for distance learning in case it becomes necessary.

Ted Brummond, University of Wyoming Photo Service

Two major actions ​regarding sports ​activities across Wyoming came on Thursday because of concerns over COVID-19. 

Map of the COVID-19 outbreak as of 11 March 2020.
Pharexia

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) has reported an adult female from Sheridan County with recent domestic travel has tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement Wednesday evening followed a lab test from the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory in Cheyenne. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will conduct further testing, but the test result will be considered a "presumptive positive."

Teams around the world -- including at least two labs in the Mountain West -- are racing to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus. 

A group at Colorado State University is working on ways to inactivate the virus, which is one option for developing a vaccine. 

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

What concerns do you have about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting Wyoming?

By contributing your comment, you consent to the possibility of having it read on the air. 

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

State officials say there are no known cases of coronavirus in Wyoming, but they have plans in place to try and minimize an outbreak.

Updated at 10:17 p.m. ET

Hours after the White House rejected the idea of appointing a coronavirus czar, President Trump on Wednesday put Vice President Pence in charge of the administration's response to the disease.

"We're doing really well, and Mike is going to be in charge," Trump said, noting that Pence's experience as governor of Indiana made him adept at working with state and local health authorities.

"This is not a czar," the president later added.

Washington State Department of Agriculture

It's not uncommon for livestock to get certain strains of coronavirus. But the strains that affect cattle and other farm animals are not the ones raising fears of a global pandemic.

Thousands of cases of the coronavirus have been reported worldwide, with most occurring in China. However, the outbreak is sure to have big economic impacts in the U.S.

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