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18 New Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Confirmed on Sunday

in Coronavirus/News
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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s total confirmed coronavirus case count since the illness was first detected in the state topped the 1,500 mark on Sunday with the reporting of 18 new cases.

The Wyoming Department of Health, in its daily coronavirus update, reported the addition of 18 cases pushed the total number of confirmed cases seen since mid-March to 1,506.

New cases were reported in Campbell, Fremont, Laramie, Natrona, Sweetwater, Teton and Uinta counties, the department said, with Natrona posting the highest gain at four new cases.

As of Sunday, Fremont County still had seen the most confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began at 344; Larmaie County had 215; Uinta County had 164; Natrona County had 139; Sweetwater had 128; Teton 125; Park had 75; Campbell had 71; Albany had 44; Washakie had 38; Lincoln had 34; Big Horn had 26; Sheridan had 21; Converse and Johnson had 17; Carbon had 16; Hot Springs had nine; Crook and Goshen had seven; Sublette had four; Platte had three, and Niobrara and Weston had one.

The Health Department’s confirmed case total reflects all cases seen since coronavirus was first detected in the state March 12. It does not take into account recoveries or deaths attributed to the illness.

The number of recoveries seen among all patients infected since the pandemic began reached 1,372 Sunday, an increase of 11 from Saturday figures. The number included recoveries among 1,096 people with laboratory-confirmed cases and 276 among those with probable cases. Recovery is defined as occurring when a patient has gone three days without a fever and has seen improvement in respiratory problems.

The number of probable cases on Sunday was 356. A probable case is one where a patient has coronavirus symptoms and has been in contact with a person with a confirmed case but has not been tested for the illness.

The number of active cases around the state was 471 on Sunday, including 391 patients with confirmed cases of coronavirus and 80 with probable cases.

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Wyoming Business Alliance’s Governor’s Business Forum Cancelled Until 2021

in Business/Coronavirus/News
Governors Business Alliance
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The 2020 Governor’s Business Forum, originally scheduled to be held this fall, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wyoming Heritage Foundation and Wyoming Business Alliance announced Friday.

The forum has been put on every year since 1982 to provide a platform for the discussion of Wyoming’s economy by a wide array of Wyoming officials and business leaders.

The 2019 forum was held in Cheyenne and featured speakers from all over the state. Many of the topics focused on how Wyoming should prepare for challenges of the future.

Cindy DeLancey, president of the Business Alliance/Heritage Foundation, said organizers could not see a way to hold the event while observing precautions to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

“Moving forward with a large, indoor forum is just not feasible this year,” she said in a news release. “Over the last several months, the management team, board and vendors have vetted possible scenarios of how to hold an indoor meeting with our statewide business community responsibly. None of the scenarios met our criteria for holding the state’s premier business event, so we had to make a tough decision. We will work hard to hold an incredible forum in the fall of 2021, and it will be better than ever.”

The Wyoming Business Alliance serves as the state’s premier business advocate, with a mission of promoting and advocating a growing economy by connecting business leaders from across Wyoming, representing business interests and issues and partnering with key business organizations and trade associations.

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University Of Wyoming Sees First Coronavirus Case

in Coronavirus/News/University of Wyoming
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The University of Wyoming has now seen its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, it announced Friday.

In a news release, the university said the case involves an employee who believes he contracted the virus at a private appointment off campus. The individual hasn’t been on campus since July 2 and has been self-isolating since July 3, when he began feeling ill.

The employee is now recovering at home and there is little campus exposure risk. Known contacts have been notified and UW officials are working with the Wyoming Department of Health.

“I think we all knew it would be just a matter of time before COVID-19 was detected among the UW community,” President Ed Seidel said in the news release. “We have taken proactive steps to minimize the spread of the virus on campus, and we would ask everyone now to be even more vigilant.”

Although a number of UW students were among the 39 other positive cases reported in Albany County as of Thursday, none were reported to be living in UW housing or working on campus.

University employees and students are required to wear face coverings while on UW-owned property or when conducting university business or activities.

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Wyoming Department Of Health Not Implementing Meningitis Vaccine Requirement (Yet)

in Coronavirus/Health care/News
Doctor Shortage in Wyoming; “Almost Impossible to Recruit”
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wyoming Department of Health is withdrawing a proposed addition to the state’s list of required vaccinations.

In 2019, the department proposed changes to require the meningococcal vaccination for students to enroll in school as one of several recommended updates to the state’s vaccination policies. Other changes included clarifying other school vaccination requirements and clarifying provider agreement requirements for the immunization information system.

The department determined a portion of the rule changes could have presented a challenge to its school partners at this time. However, in a news release, the department said it expects to implement the new rules at some time in the future.

Two vaccines are recommended to prevent the meningococcal disease, any type of illness caused by the neisseria meningitidis bactera.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. While a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually causes the swelling, injuries, cancer, certain drugs and other types of infection also can cause meningitis.

Meningococcal disease can include meningitis and bloodstream infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all 11 to 12-year-olds get the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, with a booster dose at 16. Teens and young adults (people 16 to 23) may get a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine.

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Dubois’ $100 Million Military Museum Plans For Soft Opening In August

in arts and culture/Business/Coronavirus/News
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By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily

DUBOIS – One of the state’s largest museums may open in a limited capacity in August after having its planned Memorial Day opening postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The National Museum of Military Vehicles, built by Dan Starks, had been scheduled to open to the public in May.

However, coronavirus-related delays in shipping some displays and supplies have forced the postponement of the opening, he said.

“I had been preparing myself mentally to reschedule the opening,” Starks said. “Exhibit fabrication and installation shut down a few weeks ago. I don’t know when vendors will start back up or when social distancing will be behind us.”

As a result, a more subdued opening, with limited fanfare and smaller crowds, will probably be held in August, he said.

Starks’ National Museum of Military Vehicles is a massive facility located just south of Dubois in Fremont County.

The $100 million self-funded project has been a dream of Starks, who bought his first Wyoming property in 2011. Construction on the new museum started in May of 2017. It is a 140,000 square-foot facility designed to hold 200 military vehicles and other displays.

Starks, 66, is not a veteran, but has such a high degree of respect for those who have served that he sees this project as his life’s work. And what a life it has been.

He worked 32 years at a medical equipment company in Minneapolis and was CEO before retiring in 2017. The company was doing $6 billion in revenue per year. He had 28,000 employees working on life-saving devices for the human body, specializing in heart catheters and other devices.

“At one time, we figured our devices were saving a life every three seconds around the world,” he says.

His company was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2017. Their web site shows Starks owns over $600 million in stock in the big international company and serves on its board.

The life dream of Dan and his wife Cynthia was to settle in Dubois and do some project to recognize the service of America’s veterans.  

And boy, is this ever some project.

Using Richardson Construction of Cheyenne as a general contractor, the project has hummed along on schedule.  And although the gigantic size of the facility, (you can almost put three football fields inside its walls), Starks now worries that it might be too small. 

They own more than 400 of the most pristine historical vehicles from World War II and other conflicts. He thinks he might only get 200 of them inside the walls. It is assumed to be the largest and best private collection in the world.  

The Starks’ daughter Alynne is the executive director of the facility. Admission will be $15 for adults and $10 for visitors under 18.  Veterans will be admitted for free. The museum will employ 20 people. 

Their plan for the museum has gone far beyond just a place to display vehicles. “We want to create displays that show the landing at Normandy, the surrenders in Germany and Japan, the Battle of the Bulge, and other great moments in our country’s military history,” he says. 

Dan sees the facility having three components:

  • To honor the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans.
  • Preserve the history of what happened during these wars.
  • Provide an educational experience. 

The vast array of vehicles goes beyond the killing machines of tanks, artillery, and flamethrowers.  It also includes dozens of the machines that made the wars winnable. 

Starks likes to discuss how the Red Ball Express helped secure the victories. This was the supply chain that seemed to provide endless amounts of food, ammo, and war machines as Allied troops marched toward victory.

He wants to show how America was able to convert its massive manufacturing expertise to enable the Allies to fight two different wars in different parts of the world and win both in just three and a half years.  

The new museum will show how the American ability to mass-produce cars and trucks was converted to produce tanks, jeeps, airplanes, and other war machines in record amounts that just wore down the enemy.  

“Germany built beautiful machines, but they did not understand mass production like Americans did. It was impossible for them to keep up when it came to replacing and resupplying their troops at key moments in World War II. We want to honor everyone who participated in this great victory. This museum will showcase that effort but showing the machines that were built and how they were utilized,” he said. 

Near the middle of the building’s interior is an amazing vault, unlike anything west of the Smithsonian. It will hold his $10 million collection of historical weapons, including a rifle fired at Custer’s Last Stand and a pistol used by General Pershing in World War I.

The collection includes 270 Winchester rifles. The vault has a safe door that would look just right at the national mint. 

The facility will have meeting rooms and members of the Wyoming legislature are convening there in October.

It also has the Chance Phelps Theatre, named for the brave Dubois Marine who died April 9, 2004 in Iraq.  The movie Taking Chance was about that soldier.

There will be large library with one of the world’s largest collections of manuals and other information about military vehicles.

There is even a Russian-built MiG 21 that was used in the Vietnam War against American soldiers. It is flyable.  

Besides the main museum facility, the Starks built a large building just off Main Street in Dubois to hold many of their vehicles and to be a shop to keep them running. 

Eight years ago, their first home in Dubois was an old homestead. More recently they have purchased a 250-head cattle ranch. Recently they bought a third ranch, which now has 64 bison grazing on it. 

“We love Dubois and we love Wyoming. This is our great adventure,” Starks concluded. 

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Englewood, Colorado Mandates Masks For All; Violators Could Get Year in Jail

in Coronavirus/News
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Think things are strict in Teton County? Try Englewood, Colorado.

The city is mandating people wear masks while out in the public starting today (Friday) with few exceptions.

The town has received a lot of national publicity — including a prominent Drudge link — over the requirement because of the possible penalty for violators.

According to the order, the maximum penalty is a fine of up to $2,650, 365 days behind bars or both.

“Any person charged with an offense under this Emergency Order may choose to enter a plea of not guilty and be entitled to a trial as authorized by the law,” the order reads.

Perhaps because of the national attention, the town of Englewood on Thursday tried to temper the reaction with a Facebook post which sought to clarify the ordinance.

“As a point of clarification, enforcement of the City’s emergency masking ordinance will begin, first and foremost, with education and a warning,” the post reads.

“While the emergency order includes boilerplate language referencing other penalties, this language is part of EVERY Englewood ordinance that includes any form of enforcement so that any defendant violating an ordinance will know the maximum penalty the judge might impose should he/she choose to go to trial,” it reads.

In other words, you aren’t likely to go to jail for a year if you don’t wear a mask.

After all, the first violation — if you are cited — is $15. The second violation will cost you $25. Going to jail for a year for strike three would be one heck of a jump.

How many violations it will take before you are thrown in the slammer is unknown. The goal is not to hand out tickets, the city said.

“The goal is not to issue citations, it is to educate people so they will understand their responsibility to protect their neighbors from this virus by wearing a face covering when inside public spaces so Englewood can continue reopening and moving past this health crisis,” the city said.

What does it mean if you visit Englewood? According to the city’s order, all members of the public must wear face masks that cover both their nose and mouth while in any retail, commercial, or government offices along with all health care facilities, including veterinary offices.

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Governor Gordon Deploying Cares Act Funding To Respond To Covid-19 Crisis

in Coronavirus/News
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Governor Mark Gordon continues to get needed resources out to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts in Wyoming.

Congress allocated Wyoming $1.25 billion as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the State Legislature passed new laws guiding how that money can be spent.

To date Governor Gordon has allocated $210 million to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is all hands on deck time. We are working diligently to get CARES dollars directly to those who need it the most– the people, businesses and charitable organizations of Wyoming,” Governor Gordon said.

The state has distributed $100 million to fund the Wyoming Business Council’s Business Interruption Stipend Program; $30 million to expand the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity and assist counties with contact tracing efforts; $15 million to establish an eviction prevention program administered by the Wyoming Community Development Authority; $25 million to reimburse local governments for COVID-19 related expenses; $26 million to the University of Wyoming for its reopening plan; $7 million to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for businesses and state government, and $7 million to the courts for the safe operation of the judicial system.

The Governor expects another $100 million to go out soon to support Wyoming schools and their reopening, expand the business relief program, keep unemployment costs down, support community colleges in their reopening, and further expand the state’s testing capacity.

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Wyoming Coronavirus Update: Eight Counties Report 24 New Cases

in Coronavirus/News
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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Twenty-four new confirmed coronavirus cases were reported in eight Wyoming counties on Thursday to bring the total number of cases seen since the illness was first diagnosed in the state to 1,428.

The Wyoming Department of Health, in its daily coronavirus update, said 24 new cases were reported Thursday.

New cases were reported in Big Horn, Fremont, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sweetwater and Uinta counties. Uinta County had the largest case increase at six.

As of Thursday afternoon, the total number of confirmed cases seen in Fremont County was 336; Laramie County had 202; Uinta County had 160; Natrona County had 133; Teton County had 117; Sweetwater County had 116; Park had 72; Campbell County had 62; Albany had 40; Washakie had 37; Lincoln had 33; Big Horn had 22; Sheridan had 19; Carbon, Converse and Johnson had 16; Hot Springs had nine; Crook and Goshen had seven; Platte and Sublette had three and Niobrara and Weston had one.

The Department of Health’s total confirmed case numbers track only the confirmed cases reported since coronavirus was first detected in Wyoming. They do not take into account recoveries or deaths.

The number of probable cases seen since the illness was first diagnosed in Wyoming grew to 346 on Thursday. A probable case is defined as one where the patient has symptoms of coronavirus and has been in contact with someone with a confirmed case, but has not been tested for the illness.

Recoveries seen since the mid-March also increased on Thursday, growing by 22 to total 1,313. The number included recoveries by 1,043 patients with confirmed cases and 270 patients with probable cases.

A recovery is considered to have occurred when a patient goes for three days with no fever and has seen improvement in respiratory problems.

The state had 442 active coronavirus cases on Thursday, including 366 people with confirmed cases and 76 with probable cases.

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17 New Coronavirus Cases Confirmed In 10 Wyoming Counties

in Coronavirus/News
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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

New confirmed coronavirus cases were reported in 10 counties on Friday as the number of confirmed cases seen since the illness was first detected in the state in mid-March grew to 1,445.

The Wyoming Department of Health, in its daily coronavirus update, reported that 17 new cases were reported in Big Horn, Campbell, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, Sheridan, Sweetwater, Teton and Uinta counties.

The largest increase was seen in Big Horn and Campbell counties, which both reported three new cases.

As of Friday, the number of coronavirus cases seen since the pandemic began was 335 in Fremont County; 204 in Laramie County; 162 in Uinta County; 134 in Natrona County; 118 in Sweetwater and Teton counties; 73 in Park County; 65 in Campbell County; 40 in Albany; 37 in Washakie; 34 in Lincoln; 25 in Big Horn; 21 in Sheridan; 16 in Carbon, Converse and Johnson; nine in Hot Springs; seven in Crook and Goshen; three in Platte and Sublette, and one in Niobrara and Weston.

The Department of Health’s total confirmed case numbers track only the confirmed cases reported since coronavirus was first detected in Wyoming. They do not take into account recoveries or deaths.

The number of recoveries recorded since the pandemic began also increased slightly Friday, growing by 14 to total 1,327. The number includes recoveries among 1,053 patients who have had confirmed cases of the illness since mid-March and 274 recoveries among patients with probable cases.

A recovery is defined as occurring when a patient goes for three days with no fever and has seen improvement in respiratory problems.

A probable case is defined as one where a patient has coronavirus symptoms and has been in contact with a person with a confirmed case, but has not been tested for the illness.

The number of probable cases seen in Wyoming since mid-March is 345, the Department of Health said.

The number of active cases in Wyoming was 444 on Friday, including 373 patients with confirmed coronavirus cases and 71 with probable cases.

26 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming On Wednesday

in Coronavirus/News
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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases seen in Wyoming since the first case was diagnosed in the state in mid-March grew by 26 on Wednesday, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

The department, in its daily coronavirus update, said 11 counties reported new cases on Wednesday, boosting the state’s total number of cases seen since the pandemic began to 1,404.

New cases were reported in Albany, Big Horn, Fremont, Goshen, Laramie, Natrona, Park, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta and Washakie counties. Park County saw the largest daily increase with five new cases.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the number of cases seen since the pandemic began stood at 331 in Fremont County; 198 in Laramie County; 154 in Uinta County; 131 in Natrona County; 117 in Teton County; 114 in Sweetwater County; 68 in Park; 62 in Campbell; 41 in Albany; 37 in Washakie; 32 in Lincoln; 21 in Big Horn; 19 in Sheridan; 16 in Carbon, Converse and Johnson; nine in Hot Springs; seven in Crook and Goshen; three in Platte and Sublette and one in Niobrara and Weston.

The Health Department’s case totals include all cases confirmed through laboratory testing since the first case was seen in Wyoming on March 12. The totals do not take into account recoveries or deaths attributed to the illness. So far, the deaths of 21 Wyoming residents have been related to coronavirus, including a Laramie County man whose death was reported Tuesday.

The Health Department said 1,291 patients have recovered from coronavirus since mid-March, including 1,023 with confirmed cases and 268 with probable cases. The total is an increase of 17 from Tuesday.

A recovery is defined as occurring when a person goes three days without a fever and is showing improvements in respiratory problems.

The number of probable cases on Wednesday was 336. A probable case is one in which a patient shows coronavirus symptoms and has been exposed to someone with a known case, but has not been tested for the illness.

Wyoming has 430 active coronavirus cases, including 362 among patients with confirmed cases and 68 among patients with probable cases.

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