Wyoming’s Coronavirus Total Up to Three

Wyoming News March 14, 2020

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Wyoming’s Coronavirus Total Up to Three

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) has been notified of the third known case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among state residents.

The patient is an adult male Sheridan County resident who is linked to a previously identified Sheridan County case. Testing was performed in Colorado, where the man is visiting.

WDH is continuing to follow up to learn more about the person’s exposure risk and to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been in close contact with the patient. Known contacts will be monitored for symptoms and tested if needed.

Lab testing at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory identified an older adult male Fremont County resident as the second known Wyoming case on March 13. This previously identified case signals potential local community spread and warrants special attention and prevention measures related to long-term care.

The patient is hospitalized at SageWest Health Care in Lander and is a resident of Showboat Retirement Center in Lander. State and county public health staff are conducting interviews at both facilities, and will recommend testing and other actions needed to help protect residents, patients and staff.

Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, said community spread means potential spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. “Our initial follow up with this individual found nothing that could be explained other than potential community spread of this virus in the Lander area.”

“We’re reminding everyone of how genuinely critical it is to do their part,” Harrist said. “Take common-sense steps to avoid sharing your germs with others, especially with those who are more vulnerable to serious illness.” WDH staff will be available to consult as local officials consider decisions about public events and other community-related activities.

Harrist is emphasizing the protection of older Wyoming residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living centers. “This is probably our top concern and priority. There are things we don’t yet fully understand about this disease, but it is clear that older people are among those at the very highest risk of severe illness,” she said.

For more information about coronavirus disease 2019 and Wyoming, visit:

https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.

For more details about the disease from the CDC, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

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