Uinta County experiencing COVID ‘outbreak’, with 61 active cases and rising

Wyoming News June 16, 2020

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Uinta County experiencing COVID ‘outbreak’, with 61 active cases and rising

EVANSTON, Wyo. – Two weeks ago Uinta County had only 2 remaining active cases of COVID-19. The county at that time had 17 cumulative cases, and almost all of them had recovered from the virus. Businesses were opening up, people were beginning to gather in slightly larger groups, and everything was going well in relation to a ‘new normal’. Uinta County was in a good place, with a cumulative percentage of positive tests down around 1%.

But, that was two weeks ago. As of June, 16th, Uinta County Public Health is now reporting a positive test rate of 16.72 percent, which is well over the threshold of 10 percent which indicates a spike.

“We have an outbreak going on.” Uinta County Public Health posted in a statement on Facebook. “Numerous new positive cases seem to roll in on the daily, and the contact tracers are working hard to call everyone, identify close contacts and quarantine and isolate in order to try to slow it down.”

Uinta County is up to 78 lab-confirmed cases with 61 of them active and 8 cases probable. Unfortunately, Uinta County has now become the county with the highest number of active cases in the entire state, surpassing two hotspot counties, Fremont and Laramie. All of this happening within the span of two weeks time.

The majority of the new cases fall into the category of the 20-29 age group, Uinta County Public Health is reporting. Most patients are reporting some illness, moderately severe, including high fevers, painful body aches, and difficulty breathing. A few have had only minor symptoms, like loss of sense of taste or smell and a slight headache.

The most important question relating to Uinta County’s current situation is ‘What does this all mean?’ UCPH offered these hypotheticals in their statement, “A high percent of positive tests compared to total tests, indicates either that the only people we are testing are those that are sick, and therefore almost all of them are positive (which means we should be doing more testing to get a better picture of the situation,) Or a high percent positive means that even with increased testing (which is totally happening, Evanston Regional Hospital is doing 100’s of tests this past week) there are quite a lot of sick folks, and rather than going down, we’re climbing in the percent that are testing positive. In short, vastly increasing the number of tests done, while also still seeing a high percent of positive tests, means we’ve got significant community spread”

While Uinta County Public Health did expect to see a rise in cases following re-openings and with increased gatherings, they didn’t really anticipate this big of an increase in such a short time.

The COVID update post detailed caution and common-sense as being the most efficient ways of fighting the serge and getting case numbers back on track. “We hope that with a little bit of caution by community members, and by adhering to quarantine and isolation orders, we will get this slowed down. “We do wish to advise some common-sense measures when out in public spaces to keep yourselves safe: Keep your space, wear a mask. For vulnerable people, or those that live with or work with vulnerable people, this might not be the best time to frequent gatherings.”

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