In light of the first COVID-19 diagnosis in Teton County, WY, public officials from the Teton County Health Department, St. John’s Health, and other agencies are emphasizing the importance of continued community mitigation measures to manage the severity and duration of this illness in Teton County.
Local officials were notified late today by the Wyoming Department of Health that an adult male, over the age of 60, and living in Teton County, has tested positive for COVID-19. The test was performed at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory, which is part of the Wyoming Department of Health. He contacted his provider due to flu-like symptoms and was evaluated via a telehealth visit before being tested. He self-isolated after he became ill and continues to self-isolate at home while being monitored by health officials.
“Though this is our first case, we do not expect it will be our last. I encourage community members to stay vigilant with protective measures as we work together to minimize the spread of this illness in Teton County and the region,” said Travis Riddell, MD, Teton District Health Officer.
“We are hopeful that this individual will make a fast and full recovery, and our first priorities will be to ensure he receives the care he needs, to monitor his close contacts for symptoms, and to work closely with him to identify and evaluate other individuals who may have had exposure,” said Jodie Pond, Director of the Teton County Health Department. The Wyoming Department of Health will lead the contact investigation process.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners to implement procedures for patients and providers to help minimize spread of illness and the risk to health care workers. With the cooperation of the public, these efforts will help preserve critical health infrastructure and supplies so we can take care of those affected, the most critically ill, and our other patients,” said St. John’s Health CEO Paul Beaupre, MD.
As part of its emergency readiness plan, St. John’s Health has implemented a call-line to screen patients. If you have fever, cough, or influenza-like symptoms; if you have had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19; or if you have traveled within the last 14 days to an area with widespread transmission, you should recover at home and call your provider or St. John’s Health at 307-739-4898 x3 for a phone evaluation. You should not come to St. John’s medical clinics. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, including difficulty breathing, you should dial 911 or self-transport to the Emergency Department at 625 E. Broadway and call 307-739-4898 x1 for instructions prior to your arrival.
Local agencies will continue to provide community education about mitigation efforts such as social distancing. Evidence from other affected cities and countries clearly shows that areas that initiated mitigation measures prior to widespread community transmission are significantly better able to address their community’s needs.