Wyoming Emergency Care Owners Urge Social Distancing

in News/Coronavirus

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The owners of a Cheyenne acute care clinic discussed the lack of available coronavirus tests, the uptick in clients and why people should continue practicing social distancing during a radio program Wednesday.

Dr. Dan Surdam and Amy Surdam own three Stitches Acute Care Center clinics, with locations in Cheyenne, Laramie and Wellington, Colorado. 

On Tuesday evening, Amy Surdam announced on her Twitter account that a second person in Laramie County, a 49-year-old woman, tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

She posted a short video on the Stitches Facebook page where she told viewers that the patient was tested in her car and the employees wore proper equipment when testing her. The woman otherwise appeared healthy. 

“It seems like such an overwhelming time, because none of us have ever lived through anything like this,” Amy Sudam said in the video. “But you can do your part right now by staying at home. You shouldn’t be interacting with other people. Stay healthy and wash your hands.” 

Amy Surdam also announced on the clinic’s Facebook page that there was now a delay on test results due to the increased number of people being tested. Patients who have been tested for the virus at Stitches won’t receive their results for a certain period of time, but the Surdams couldn’t say when. 

During their appearance on the KFBC radio program “Cheyenne Today,” the Surdams noted that they began preparing for the virus outbreak last week when there were only 700 cases in the United States. The Stitches staff began to separate people with fevers from those with only mild cold or flu symptoms. 

The Cheyenne location has seen a major increase in foot traffic, but Amy Surdam said that with the University of Wyoming’s closure, the Laramie Stitches crew did not experience such increases. 

The Wellington location has also seen somewhat of an increase in patients, but ultimately, the Stitches staff have been putting most of their resources into telemedicine. 

The Surdams encouraged anyone showing only mild symptoms of the virus, such as a runny nose or a cough, to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Amy Surdam also defended her announcement of the second coronavirus case in Laramie County on Twitter, stating she felt it was prudent to get the information out into the world as quickly as possible. 

“This wasn’t someone who was critically ill, she was someone we sent home after testing,” Amy Surdam said. “This was a way to increase urgency. We need to take this seriously and stay home as much as possible.” 

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