By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Testing of patients and staff at the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston revealed no new cases of coronavirus at the institution, the Department of Health announced Monday.
The department, in a news release, said its tests of 218 patients and staff members at the hospital who agreed to the testing showed none were infected with COVID-19.
The tests had been conducted at the recommendation of officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who visited the hospital in April. The CDC suggested the hospital conduct a “point prevalence survey,” which involves testing a large number of people within a limited time period.
Samples were collected from 172 staff members and 46 patients, about 61% of the hospital’s total population.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s public health officer, said the hospital welcomed the opportunity for additional testing.
“With the unique challenges involving infection control within a psychiatric treatment facility and the state hospital’s role as an important employer in the Evanston community, we all welcomed this opportunity when it was offered by the CDC team,” she said.
Two patients from another facility who were brought to the State Hospital in April tested positive for coronavirus on their arrival. The two were housed in a quarantine area and did not have contact with other patients.
Bill Rein, the State Hospital’s administrator, said the CDC was pleased with the facility’s infection control measures, including multiple levels of screenings for new patients, testing patients before admissions and discharges and limiting attendance at meetings.
“I want to commend hospital staff for their hard work and thank the CDC team members, local public health representatives and the staff at the state (Public Health Laboratory) for their help with this project,” Rein said.