By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Wyoming Department of Health will soon offer free, at-home saliva coronavirus tests, state public health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist announced during a news conference on Monday.
She said that the WDH recently signed a contract that would allow the department to offer the free tests for the general public, as well as permit the department to partner with businesses and organizations to offer workplace saliva tests.
“This unique testing service includes online supervision of the sample collection process,” she said. “It’s a new option that adds to the choices available for testing in Wyoming for our residents.”
Next, Harrist said that the state would receive 170,000 rapid coronavirus tests between now and December as part of the distribution of 150 million tests that will be given out across the country from the federal government.
Harrist didn’t give an exact date on when either the saliva or tests would be available, adding more information would be available soon.
Both Harrist and Gov. Gordon said the rapid growth in cases is putting a strain on the state’s hospitals. As of Monday, 36 coronavirus patients are in Wyoming hospitals, the highest number seen since the illness was first detected in Wyoming in mid-March.
“A big and very real worry is for the hospitals to be pushed beyond their limits,” Harrist said. “It is important to remember that many of Wyoming’s hospitals are small, with a limited number of beds for the most seriously ill patients.”
Harrist noted that no restrictions are in place for most activities in the state, now, but urged residents to take the proper precautions as they engage in activities.
“Everything is open in Wyoming right now,” she said. “There’s nothing you can’t do. The key is to be able to do them safely. Take those relatively simple precautions.”