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News from the Wyoming Department of Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

Four More Wyoming Coronavirus Cases Found

Testing at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory has identified three additional reported cases in the state of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH). An additional case was identified by commercial reference laboratory testing.

The new cases involve an adult female in Park County, an adult female in Laramie County, an adult male in Sheridan County and an adult female in Sheridan County. No more information is available at this time regarding the Park County or Laramie County cases. The two new Sheridan County cases are close contacts of two previously identified cases from the county.

The total number of Wyoming cases is now 15.

WDH will follow up regarding exposure risks and will work to identify and communicate with contacts. Known contacts will be monitored for symptoms and tested as needed.

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

 Wyoming’s Coronavirus Case Count Goes Up

 Testing at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory has identified one new reported case in the state of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

 The new case involves an older adult male resident of Laramie County. The total number of Wyoming cases is now 11.

 WDH will follow up regarding exposure risks of the new case and will work to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been in close contact with the individual. Known contacts will be monitored for symptoms and tested if needed.

 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

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 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, March 16, 2020

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

 Wyoming’s Coronavirus Case Total Increases

 Testing at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory has identified seven newly reported cases in the state of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

 Each of the seven new cases is located in Fremont County, and is directly connected to the first Fremont County case announced on March 13. The total number of Wyoming cases is now 10.

 WDH is continuing to follow up regarding exposure risks of the new cases and will work to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been in close contact with them. Known contacts will be monitored for symptoms and tested if needed.

 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, March 16, 2020

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

 Wyoming Department of Health Shares Priority Coronavirus Recommendations

As the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) continues to closely monitor the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, priority protection recommendations are being shared with Wyoming residents.

 “We don’t yet know exactly how easily COVID-19 spreads and how many people will experience severe illness,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH. “We expect to identify more cases in the upcoming days and weeks. While we are facing a rapidly developing situation, the risk to most Wyoming residents remains low at this time.”

 The department’s current priority recommendations for Wyoming residents include:

 Stay home when sick and avoid contact with other people unless you need medical attention. This is the number one way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 or other illness in our communities.

 Follow advice from CDC on what to do if you think you may be sick due to COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.

 Follow common-sense steps such as washing your hands often and well; covering your coughs and sneezes; and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

 Operators of nursing homes and other healthcare facilities should closely follow guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for infection control and prevention, including those that restrict visitation.

 As much as possible, Wyoming’s assisted living facilities should follow the same infection control and prevention practices as nursing homes related to COVID-19, including those that restrict visitation.

 Everyone should follow CDC recommendations on mass gatherings, which currently recommend cancelling or postponing events of more than 50 people. More details can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html.

 Older people and those with health conditions that meant they have a higher chance of getting seriously ill should be careful to avoid crowds or situations where they may be in close contact with others.

 Older people and those with health conditions that mean they have a higher chance of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 should avoid all nonessential air travel.

 Everyone should follow CDC recommendations to avoid foreign travel to many areas and cruise ship travel.

 Everyone should carefully consider COVID-19 risks and their personal situation before any significant travel within the United States. More advice from CDC can be found at:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html.

Stay up to date with WDH COVID-19 information online at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

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.

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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 News from the Wyoming Department of Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

 Coronavirus Case Signals Community, Long-Term Care Concerns

 The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is saying today that a previously identified Fremont County case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) signals potential local community spread and warrants special attention and prevention measures related to long-term care.

 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. 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.

 The federal government regulates nursing homes, while the state has a more prominent role with assisted living centers. “The living environments are different between the two types of facilities as well,” Harrist said. “But we want as much protection as possible for residents of both types.”

“We have seen very restrictive guidelines issued recently from the federal government for nursing homes and I am recommending the same practices for Wyoming’s assisted living centers,” she said.

The nursing home guidelines say there should be no visitors or non-essential healthcare personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation. The federal guidelines have been shared with Wyoming nursing homes by the WDH Healthcare Licensing and Surveys Office and can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/aging/hls/.

 Recommended personal actions that can help avoid the spread of COVID-19 or similar illnesses include:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 percent alcohol.

Symptoms reported with this disease are familiar: fever, cough and shortness of breath. Experts believe COVID-19 spreads mostly between people who are in close contact and through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most ill with obvious symptoms.

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 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, March 13, 2020

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

New Case Added to Wyoming’s Coronavirus Total

Lab testing at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory has identified the second known case in the state with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

The patient is a hospitalized older adult male Fremont County resident with currently unknown exposure risk.

 WDH is following 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. As is currently standard, the test result is considered to be a “presumptive positive” and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will conduct further testing for confirmation.

 Symptoms reported with this disease are familiar: fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are many different coronaviruses, some of which cause the common cold in people and others that circulate among animals.

 Experts believe COVID-19 spreads mostly between people who are in close contact and through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most ill with obvious symptoms. A person may also get COVID-19 by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

Recommended steps that can help avoid the spread of COVID-19 or similar illness include:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 percent alcohol.

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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Contact: Kim Deti

Phone: 307-777-6420

Wyoming’s First Coronavirus Disease 2019 Case Reported

Lab testing at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory has identified the first known case of a state resident with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

 Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, said the patient is an adult female from Sheridan County with some recent domestic travel history.

 WDH is following up to learn more details 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. As is currently standard, the test result is considered to be a “presumptive positive” and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will conduct further testing for confirmation.

Harrist noted the current risk of transmission in Wyoming remains low for most residents. “We expected to identify a case in Wyoming at some point because the reach of the disease is clearly growing. Travelers to certain affected locations and close contacts of ill people are still overall at the highest risk of becoming ill,” she said.

 “Our state has been planning for this situation for weeks and we will continue our coordinated efforts to address this threat,” Governor Mark Gordon said. “I pledge to work closely with our state agencies, federal partners and local officials to ensure we are implementing all the necessary steps to protect public health.”

 Harrist said symptoms reported with this disease are familiar: fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are many different coronaviruses, some of which cause the common cold in people and others that circulate among animals.

 Experts believe COVID-19 spreads mostly between people who are in close contact and through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most ill with obvious symptoms. A person may also get COVID-19 by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

 Recommended steps that can help avoid the spread of COVID-19 or similar illness include:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 percent alcohol.

“Travel recommendations and restrictions are also important,” Harrist said. The CDC currently recommends no nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy and no travel on cruise ships.

The CDC also says older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should consider avoiding situations with increased risk for transmission because they are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Examples include avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips and avoiding crowded places.

 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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