Wyoming Marks 100 Days Of Coronavirus

in News/Coronavirus

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming marked its 100th day with the coronavirus on Friday and although the state has seen rapid growth in confirmed cases since the beginning of the month, it is still has one of the lowest infection rates in the nation.

Wyoming’s first coronavirus case was confirmed on March 12. Since then, the state has reported 926 more confirmed cases and 20 deaths. Only Alaska, Hawaii and Montana have fewer cases than Wyoming and only Alaska and Hawaii have seen fewer deaths.

Like the rest of the nation, Wyoming’s ability to test people for the coronavirus was extremely limited in the first few weeks of the outbreak and testing was limited only to people who were referred for a test by a doctor.

Since then, as more tests have become available, almost 36,000 tests have been conducted, with about 2.5% of the patients testing positive, well below the national average of 6.4%.

Wyoming was not subject to a “shelter-in-place” order as some states were, instead Gov. Mark Gordon and Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s public health officer, issued orders preventing restaurants and bars from serving people on-premises, closing some businesses that provided personal services, such as hair salons, and limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people.

Those orders were relaxed significantly in mid-May and have been revised as the number of new cases in the state has dropped.

However, Wyoming has seen double-digit increases in cases in eight of the last 10 days, with 167 new cases reported between June 10 and Friday — more than double the number of new cases reported in the previous 10 days.

Most of the increase can be tracked to an increase of 68 cases in Uinta County over the last 10 days to give the county the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the state, 103, behind Fremont and Laramie.

Harrist said during a news conference earlier this week that the outbreak in Uinta County was caused by patrons at a bar who did not practice social distancing.

“This situation illustrates how it doesn’t take much to really change the disease picture in a community,” she said during the news conference. “This disease has not gone away, so please think of others when you make choices.”

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