COVID-19 reappears in Crook County
Active case identified here as state loosens health orders further
June 18, 2020
As Wyoming continues its ponderous journey back to normality, a new case of COVID-19 popped up locally this week. The first active case in Crook County for several weeks brings the total number of individuals in this county who have contracted the novel coronavirus to six.
This sixth case, according to a statement released by Crook County Public Health on Monday, “is an asymptomatic child who tested positive in pre-surgery Covid-19 screening”. The child has been isolated and is said to be recovering at home with their family.
Medical privacy laws prohibit further information being released to the public about the patient, other than that they are being monitored by Public Health in conjunction with the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) and Crook County Medical Services District.
“If you may have been exposed to this child, you will be contacted by the WDH or Crook County Public Health,” said the statement.
All five previously identified cases in Crook County have recovered. The newly identified patient is therefore currently the only reported active case in this county.
Elsewhere in Wyoming, infection numbers took a steep climb over the last week with daily confirmed cases reaching a new high of 25 on Thursday. Friday and Saturday saw 18 and 20 new cases respectively, a large portion of which are located in Uinta County, which is currently experiencing an outbreak.
According to updates posted by Uinta County Public Health, the majority of the new cases are in the 20-29 age group. Currently the county with the highest number of active cases in the state at 69 on Monday, Uinta only had two active cases just two weeks ago.
“Did we expect this to happen? With opening things back up, and with increased gathering, yes, we did expect to see little spikes in our numbers. But this big of a growth in such a short time wasn’t expected,” said the update.
One additional death was added to Wyoming’s tally on June 9, bringing the total to 18. The adult woman from Fremont County had previously been hospitalized and had known health conditions recognized as putting her at higher risk from the virus.
An additional death did take place in Wyoming last week, but will not be added to Wyoming’s count due to out-of-state residency. The older woman’s death was associated with a Washakie County nursing home, where an outbreak of COVID-19 had already led to three fatalities.
The state’s COVID-19 dashboard changed for the first time since it was introduced this week. The number of new cases was downgraded to “stabilizing” for several days before it was once again upgraded to “concerning”.
Meanwhile, the percentage of all tests that are positive has been downgraded to “improving”. The remaining four metrics – percentage of cases attributed to community spread, total admissions reported by hospitals, hospital bed availability and ICU bed availability – remain listed as “stabilizing”.
With the statistics looking better, the state took further steps this week to ease restrictions on its citizens. As of Monday, it is permissible to hold indoor gatherings of up to 250 people (with restrictions).
Parades may also occur, with social distancing used as appropriate, and K-12 schools as well as colleges, the University of Wyoming and other educational facilities may now open and resume in-person instruction for students.
The new orders are expected to be in effect until the end of the month and will allow gatherings of up to 50 persons to take place without restrictions. Faith-based gatherings such as funeral homes and church services are exempt for the orders and may operate without restrictions, though social distancing is encouraged.
“Wyoming has made outstanding progress to date,” Governor Mark Gordon said in a statement. “Folks need to remember that it is important to remain vigilant, but because we have been so successful, I am confident we can continue lifting the very few remaining public health restrictions.”
The governor also announced that the first Business Interruption Stipend grant payments have been issued to small business owners who applied for COVID-19 mitigation assistance.
Eight businesses have received nearly $150,000 in grant payments to date. An additional $2,661,158 in payments has been approved. For more information regarding eligibility, or to apply, visit wyobizrelief.org.