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275 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming On Tuesday; 509 Recoveries; 3,169 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily. 

Wyoming’s active coronavirus count decreased by 65 on Tuesday. 

The Wyoming Department of Health received reports of 509 recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases. 

At the same time, the state reported 275 new laboratory-confirmed and 208 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 3,169 active cases for Tuesday

Eleven counties have more than 100 active cases and seven have more than 200. 

Natrona County had 636; Campbell 291; Laramie 260; Fremont 248; Uinta 210; Sheridan 209; Park 186; Sweetwater 147; Goshen 129; Washakie 121; Lincoln 110; Albany 92; Converse 83; Big Horn 77; Sublette 68; Platte 63; Carbon 59; Weston 45; Teton 42; Johnson 33; Crook 32; Niobrara had 20, while Hot Springs reported the fewest active cases with eight.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 95,620 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020. Of those, 91,371 have recovered.  

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Wyoming’s COVID Deaths Increase By 29, Dept of Health Reports

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

The number of Wyoming residents whose deaths have been linked to the coronavirus since it was first detected in the state has grown to 1,080, the Wyoming Department of Health announced Tuesday.

The department, in its weekly update on COVID fatalities, said it had identified 29 more Wyoming residents whose deaths were tied to the illness. The residents died in September or October.

The deaths included six Big Horn County residents, five men and one woman, all residents of long-term care facilities who died in September and October.

The victims also included five Park County residents, three women and two men, who died in September and October.

Other victims included an Albany County man, two Campbell County men, a Converse County woman, a Crook County man, two Fremont County men, two Laramie County women, two Lincoln County men, a Natrona County man and woman, a Sheridan County woman and three Sweetwater County men.

The deaths were announced on the same day that Department of Health figures showed the number of active coronavirus cases in the state declined by 65 to total 3,169.

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661 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming On Monday; 1,315 Recoveries; 3,234 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily. 

Wyoming’s active coronavirus case count decreased by 481 over the weekend. 

The Wyoming Department of Health received reports over the weekend of 1,315 recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases. 

At the same time, the state reported 661 new laboratory-confirmed and 173 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 3,234 active cases for Monday

Thirteen counties have more than 100 active cases and seven have more than 200. 

Natrona County had 651; Campbell 297; Laramie 279; Fremont 231; Park 215; Sheridan 213; Uinta 195; Sweetwater 163; Goshen 126; Lincoln 119; Washakie 109; Albany 105; Big Horn 103; Converse 82; Platte 64; Sublette 57; Carbon 55; Weston 44; Teton 43; Johnson 32; Crook had 29, while Niobrara and Hot Springs reported the fewest active cases, with 11.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 95,137 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020. Of those, 90,862 have recovered.

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Rawlins High School Cancels All Homecoming Activities Due To COVID ‘Situation’

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Rawlins High School officials canceled all of the school’s homecoming-related activities late last week due to a COVID “situation” at the school.

School officials announced the cancellation of all homecoming activities on Thursday afternoon on social media, one day before the football game, due to the unavailability of players who were either sick with COVID or quarantined due to exposure.

This meant that the team had to forfeit its game to Douglas High School, and the homecoming parade and dance were canceled.

The high school administration intended to reschedule some of the activities at some point in the future.

In an interview with radio station Bigfoot99, high school principal Marnie Garner would not call the reason for the homecoming cancellation an “outbreak” and declined to say how school administrators found out about the COVID “situation” among the football players.

Garner told host Cali O’Hare that despite the cancellation, Rawlins High students were taking their lack of homecoming in stride and understood that due to the pandemic, some things were out of people’s control.

She added that the high school has seen a decrease in active COVID cases, with the exception of the situation with the football team.

The football game against Lander slated for later this week is still under question, as it was unclear if enough football players would be out of quarantine in time to play.

As of Friday, Carbon County had 69 active cases. Just under 37% of the county is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Carbon County School District No. 1 does not have a mask mandate in place, although district superintendent Mike Hamel warned of this possibility at the beginning of the school year. He also urged parents to make sure their children were frequently using hand sanitizer and to encourage their children to wear a mask.

“I want parents to have a little lead time that should our numbers continue to rise we will be reinstituting a mask requirement for all students and staff,” he wrote. “We would also look at reinstituting other protocols such as limiting access to facilities for outside agencies and parents, requiring masks at events and limiting fans at events. We are hopeful to keep in-person instruction available to everyone but we will be making plans to transition to a virtual platform should such a step become necessary.”

Hamel also encouraged parents to talk with their health care providers about the parents or their children getting one of the COVID vaccines, if they are eligible.

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404 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming On Friday; 640 Recoveries; 3,715 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily. 

Wyoming’s active coronavirus count decreased by 101 on Friday to end the week.

The Wyoming Department of Health received reports of 640 recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases Friday. 

At the same time, the state reported 404 new laboratory-confirmed and 135 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 3,715 active cases for Friday

Twelve counties had more than 100 active cases, with eight having more than 200. Natrona County had 713; Campbell 369; Laramie 332; Fremont 287; Sheridan 241; Uinta 240; Park 236; Sweetwater 202;  Lincoln 141; Albany 139; Washakie 120; Converse 102; Bog Horn 93; Goshen 86; Sublette 78; Carbon 69; Platte 60; Johnson 46; Weston and Teton 44; Crook 42; Hot Springs had 18, while Niobrara reported the fewest active cases, with 13.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 94,303 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020. Of those, 89,547 have recovered.

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Casper News Personality Fired Over Station’s Vaccine Mandate

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Another Wyoming news personality has been fired over Gray TV’s vaccine mandate that implemented at the beginning of the month.

Cheryl Hackett of KCWY in Casper announced on her social media profile last week that she was leaving the station due to her vaccine exemption request being denied.

“Over the past six years, it has been my great delight to meet and interview so many wonderful people who are doing wonderful things in, and for, our community,” Hackett wrote. “I have been honored and touched when kind viewers have paid me kind compliments (usually at the grocery store, because–with a large family– that’s where you can usually find me!) about how much they love watching MomsEveryday.”

Since 2015, Hackett has been the host of “MomsEveryday,” a program where she would interview guests about a wide variety of family-related topics, such as community events, resources and health. She had previously worked as a reporter and news anchor for the station from 2003 to 2005.

But due to the vaccine mandate at Gray Television, Hackett was terminated from her position last week.

“While I disagree with the decision and outcome, and feel sadness for the good people across the county who lost their jobs, I have nothing but respect and appreciation for our local general manager, Jim Beck, our now-retired news director, John Ehrhart, as well as the rest of the staff at the station, who have all become my friends,” she wrote.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Hackett is now the director of development at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming.

This is at least the second instance of a Wyoming news personality losing their job over the Gray TV mandate.

Kerri Hayden of KGWN-TV worked her last day at the TV station on Saturday and penned a note to her viewers on social media afterward.

“After 25 years, my time at KGWN TV has come to an end,” Hayden wrote. “I value the freedom we all have to make our own informed decisions, however my right to choose was taken by a billion dollar company whose owners never even met me.”

She said that while she was neither for nor against the vaccine, she believed Americans had the right to decide what was best for them when it came to medical decisions.

Like Hackett, Hayden also submitted a vaccine exemption request that was denied.

According to PR firm Broadcasting+Cable, Gray TV sent out a memo to employees in August that they would be required to be vaccinated by Oct. 1.

These were not the only Gray TV employees to lose their jobs over the mandate. A Nebraksa meteorologist, a Mississippi TV news anchor and a Missouri reporter were all fired from the company due to their refusal to get vaccinated, just to name a few examples.

In September, President Joe Biden announced that federal workers, health care workers and employees at companies that employ more than 100 people will have to be vaccinated against coronavirus or be tested for the illness weekly. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be responsible for levying fines against companies that do not comply with the mandate.

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Teenage Girl Arrested At Laramie High After Being Suspended For Not Wearing Mask

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A teenage girl who defied the mask mandate implemented by the Albany County School District was arrested on Thursday.

Grace Smith, 16, was arrested on Thursday at Laramie High School due to her refusal to leave the school after she was suspended for not wearing a mask. The officer told her it was considered trespassing.

Her father, Andy Smith, posted videos of his daughter being suspended by district superintendent Dr. Jubal Yennie to YouTube, as well as two videos of her being arrested and taken into custody.

“You are taking away her rights as a citizen of the state provided to her by the constitution of Wyoming,” Andy Smith told school officials when his daughter was suspended.

Yennie told Grace and her father that she was being suspended due to her continued refusal to wear a mask when in school, despite the mandate.

Grace went into custody willingly and was polite with officers when arrested, the videos show.

The school district implemented a mask mandate in early September after Albany County and Wyoming’s COVID cases continue to climb, as well as its hospitalizations. Its mask mandate is slated to expire on Oct. 15, unless school officials decide to extend it.

The Smiths spoke with State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, on Thursday following her arrest about the incident. The video was posted to social media on Friday.

Grace explained she has been suspended from school for six days, three separate two-day suspensions, and received $1,000 in trespassing fines for refusing to leave school grounds “because I had the right to education.”

“It makes me feel unwanted by the school system,” Grace told Bouchard. “It makes me stressed out that I have to fight this battle as a 16-year-old. Right now, I should be playing sports and having fun. And instead I’m fighting for the rights that were supposed to be won hundreds of years ago.”

Andy Smith added that the family has taken every opportunity to inform every authority figure that has issued suspensions or trespassing fines that they are infringing on the Smiths’ constitutional rights.

“Law enforcement informed us they were operating under the pretense…she was not in compliance with the trespassing orders,” Andy Smith told Bouchard. “They said they have no choice to arrest her because she is not complying with the trespassing citation. When asked if they’re arresting her for not wearing a mask, they’ll say no.”

The school was also put under a lockdown order for more than an hour due to Grace’s arrest, her father said.

Grace added she has been called “vulgar” names by peers, had terrible things said to her by teachers and seen other parents discriminate against her due to her refusal to wear a mask in school.

“I am a straight-A student,” Grace told Bouchard. “I’ve never broken the law. I would never choose to do anything wrong and I never saw myself sitting in the back of a cop car, handcuffed.”

Andy Smith also said that no officials have been able to provide a law, statute or any legal information on why they can enforce the mandate against his daughter, implying that the family might sue due to the situation.

Bouchard said this was an example of COVID tyranny in the state and that officials would ignore the constitution to make people fall in line.

“I don’t see an end here, I see that that we just keep being told to do something else,” the senator said.

Carbon County Republican Party chairman Joey Correnti IV shared a post on social media supporting the teenager, saying “Wyoming needs more Grace.”

The Smith family did not immediately return Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Friday.

In an interview with Cowboy State Politics, Andy Smith told host David Iverson that Grace made the decision for herself to not wear a mask, and it was nothing her family forced on her.

He added that initially when the mandate was implemented in September, the school district was going to allow exemption forms, but Yennie ultimately revoked them and only allowed exemptions under eight criteria, none of which Grace met.

Andy Smith told Iverson that he thinks Grace was empowering other students to defy the mask mandate and that school officials were picking on his daughter.

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475 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming On Thursday; 614 Recoveries; 3,816 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily. 

Wyoming’s active coronavirus increased by 67 on Thursday.   

The Wyoming Department of Health received reports of 614 recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases on Thursday. 

At the same time, the state reported 475 new laboratory-confirmed and 206 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 3,816 active cases for Thursday

Twelve counties had more than 100 active cases and seven had more than 200. Natrona County had 711; Campbell had 374; Laramie 337; Fremont 298; Sheridan 251; Park 249; Uinta 234; Sweetwater 186;  Lincoln and Washakie 147; Albany 138; Converse 106; Big Horn 95; Goshen 94; Sublette 90; Carbon and Platte 71; Weston 48; Johnson 46; Teton 40; Crook 37; Hot Springs had 26, while Niobrara reported the fewest active cases, with 20.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 93,764 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020. Of those, 88,907have recovered.

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375 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming On Wednesday; 83 Recoveries; 3,749 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily. 

Wyoming’s active coronavirus case total increased by 483 on Wednesday.

The Wyoming Department of Health said it received reports of 83 recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases Wednesday. 

At the same time, the state reported 375 new laboratory-confirmed and 191 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 3,749 active cases for Wednesday

Thirteen counties have more than 100 active cases, with seven having more than being over 200. Natrona County had 659; Campbell had 394; Laramie 337; Fremont 294; Park 244; Sheridan 225; Uinta 223; Sweetwater 177; Albany 158; Washakie 148; Lincoln 144; Converse 109; Goshen 105; Big Horn 98; Sublette 84; Platte 73; Carbon 65; Johnson 50; Crook 45; Weston 35; Teton 34, Hot Springs had 33, while Niobrara reported the fewest active cases, with 15. No county reported zero active cases.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

 The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 93,083 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020. Of those, 88,293 have recovered.

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Longtime Cheyenne News Anchor Fired Over Vaccine Mandate

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A longtime Cheyenne news anchor was fired from her job over the weekend due to her refusal to get vaccinated against the coronavirus and her exemption to the vaccination was denied.

Kerri Hayden of KGWN-TV worked her last day at the TV station on Saturday and penned a note to her viewers on social media afterward.

“After 25 years, my time at KGWN TV has come to an end,” Hayden wrote. “I value the freedom we all have to make our own informed decisions, however my right to choose was taken by a billion dollar company whose owners never even met me.”

She said that while she was neither for nor against the vaccine, she believed Americans had the right to decide what was best for them when it came to medical decisions.

Hayden noted that she submitted a request for an exemption to the vaccination mandate, but it was denied. She refused to get the vaccine, so she was fired from the station.

“I’ve made the decision to not allow Gray TV to control my personal choices,” she said.

According to PR firm Broadcasting+Cable, Gray TV sent out a memo to employees in August that they would be required to be vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Hayden was not the only Gray TV employee to lose her job over the mandate. A Nebraksa meteorologist, a Mississippi TV news anchor and a Missouri reporter were all fired from the company due to their refusal to get vaccinated, just to name a few examples.

In September, President Joe Biden announced that federal workers, health care workers and employees at companies that employ more than 100 people will have to be vaccinated against coronavirus or be tested for the illness weekly. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be responsible for levying fines against companies that do not comply with the mandate.

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