The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming has reached 452 with the discovery of new cases in three counties.
The Wyoming Department of Health, in its daily coronavirus update, announced Tuesday that eight new cases of COVID-19 were detected in Fremont, Laramie and Lincoln counties.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Fremont County had 131 cases; Laramie County had 108; Teton County had 67; Natrona County had 38; Campbell County had 15; Converse County had 14; Sheridan County had 12; Johnson and Sweetwater counties had 11; Albany had eight; Lincoln had seven; Uinta had six; Carbon, Crook and Washakie had five; Goshen had three, and Big Horn had two. Hot Springs, Niobrara, Park and Sublette counties each had one case.
Platte and Weston counties remain free of any confirmed cases of the illness.
The number of recoveries in both people with laboratory-confirmed cases and those with “probable” cases of coronavirus increased slightly on Tuesday, growing by four to total 409. The number included 291 recoveries among people with laboratory-confirmed cases and 118 among people with “probable” cases, people who have not been tested for coronavirus but have shown symptoms and are known to have been in contact with someone with a laboratory-confirmed case.
In addition to the 452 confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming, the Health Department said the state has 152 unconfirmed “probable” cases.
Even as some businesses in the state began to reopen after being closed since mid-March by the virus, the fate of scheduled events across the state remained unsure, with school officials across Wyoming trying to determine how to conduct high school graduation ceremonies while maintaining social distancing.
One event that is going on, although in a different format, is the Wyoming Republican Party convention, part of which is being held online this weekend.
On Saturday, party members will go online to to elect at-large delegates to the GOP’s national convention, presidential electors and a national committeewoman and committeeman. Such business is usually conducted in the party’s state convention, where members meet in-person, traditionally in May.
After Saturday’s online vote, party members are to meet in-person at the end of June in Gillette to conduct other party business, including the adoption of a platform, bylaws and resolutions.
In other developments
No care: Wyoming health care providers report that people are not seeking care for illnesses and injuries not related to coronavirus. Dr. Patty Zishka, an urgent care physician at Cheyenne’s HealthReach, said it has been documented that people are putting off care for conditions that could be life-threatening. “So I think it’s just like anything — if you have an old car that you drive into the ground and you never do any maintenance, it’s gonna kick the bucket sooner,” she said.
Negative tests: All 28 of the people who came in contact with a coronavirus patient in Campbell County have tested negative for the illness. The 28 were exposed to the woman while she was hospitalized in Campbell County Memorial Hospital. The woman did not show signs of the disease until after the emergency surgery she was admitted for and after she was confirmed to have the illness, the people were tested in accordance with the hospital’s protocols.
No Senior Olympics: The Wyoming Senior Olympics, originally scheduled to be held in Cheyenne in August, has been canceled. Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr said the athletes over the age of 50 who compete in the biannual event have probably seen their training programs disrupted by the coronavirus. In addition, she said, organizers remain concerned about the spread of coronavirus. “Our seniors are the last folks that we’re going to want to bring together in a group, because they tend to be the most vulnerable population, despite how healthy they probably are,” she said.
School closed: Administrators with Douglas schools have announced the school district’s classrooms will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Paige Fenton-Hughes, superintendent of Douglas schools, said plans are being made for students to retrieve their personal items from schools and return school property.
First responder help: A Wilson man has established a fund to help first responders with needs they may have during the pandemic. Tom Patricelli said the fund will help pay for the needs of the families of first responders, training for the first responders and protective equipment. Patricelli provided seed money for the First Responders Support Fund and hopes others will contribute. “What I’ve found in 20 years of working in the nonprofit world in this town, is that if you put a good idea in front of this community, the community will step up,” he said.
Virtual fair: Laramie County officials are looking at several options for the county’s annual fair, including an all-virtual version. The Laramie County Fair Board is trying to decide how to proceed with the August event given the coronavirus. One option would be to limit 4H and FFA animal showings to one species per day. Fair board members said they would like to have a live fair, if possible. “When it comes down to it, everybody wants those kids to have that 10 days,” said Laramie County Commissioner Troy Thompson. “That’s the best time of the year for those kids and for those families.”
Face mask recognition: A Jackson seamstress is being recognized for her work to make cloth face masks for the city’s hospital and others. Carmen Gloria Rodriguez has sewn about 2,400 face masks, including 1,700 for St. John’s Hospital. The hospital recently gave Rodriguez a grocery store gift card to thank her for her effort. “I felt the need of doing something for the people, for my community,” Rodriguez said. “I always had the desire of contributing to the community that welcomed me when I came from Chile.”