A Lander City Council member on Sunday painted a grim picture of the ongoing battle against the coronavirus at one of the hardest hit areas in the state.
Cade Maestas, in a Facebook post, said he was invited to Sage West Medical Clinic in Lander to observe medical professionals dealing with COVID-19.
Maestas came away with a warning.
“For all of the people that think they know better, for the doubters, for the conspiracy theorists, I tell you I’ve seen it with my own eyes and it’s real,” he said.
“I saw four family members, all unconscious and on ventilators,” he wrote. “The youngest of them was 28 and had no underlying health conditions. It was day 10 for them living on machines.”
(Editor’s note: Maestas later edited his post to remove reference to the family, the use of ventilators and the age of one patient because of concerns over the release of confidential patient information. The original post is embedded at the top of this article.)
Maestas said the hospital originally had four ICU units which expanded to 12.
“They’re working on expanding it to 20 this week … which they are going to need,” he wrote.
The councilman said he was asked to communicate to the public how dire the situation is.
“The tour finished with the head surgeon (begging) us to ask people to stay home, let people know how serious this is, and do our best to communicate that (it has) only just begun,” he said.
There are currently 36 positive coronavirus cases in Fremont County. On Saturday, nine new cases were confirmed and according to the Fremont County Incident Management Team, all were in Lander and connected to the Showboat Retirement Center.