COVID-19 cases continue steady climb
September 3, 2020
With little improvement to the steady climb of COVID-19 cases across the state, Governor Mark Gordon announced last week that the current public health orders will remain in place. No changes have been made to these orders, which will expire on September 15.
Four new deaths have been reported in Wyoming over the last week, in Fremont, Washakie, Lincoln and Park Counties. All were older adults who died out of state.
Crook County has held steady at a total of 14 cases of the novel coronavirus, with four of them still active. Sundance Hospital has dealt with additional COVID-19 patients, however these will not appear on the county’s tally as they are not from this area.
“We have had two more positive cases in our facility in the past week,” says CEO Micki Lyons.
The state’s dashboard of statewide metrics also has not changed, with the number of new cases and total admissions reported by hospitals still marked as concerning.
However, Wyoming did pass one significant milestone over the past week: on Friday, every county in the state was reporting at least one active case of COVID-19. This occurred as Niobrara County reported one probable case, ending a streak of several weeks with no active cases.
Also, said Gordon during a press conference, Wyoming is now averaging between 15 and 20 in hospital at any one time, which means it is ticking back up again. “That is a cause for concern,” he said, as it means someone who has a car accident or breaks a leg and needs to go to the emergency room may have trouble been seen.
“We need to make sure that we still have capacity,” he said.
Daily cases have also increased slightly, with an average of 35 per day over the last two weeks. This is an increase from the 30-per-day average of the previous two-week period. The largest number of new cases reported in one day over the last week was Wednesday, with 46 new cases.
At this time, Carbon County has the most active cases in Wyoming, largely due to an outbreak at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins. Teton County is reported to have the highest rate of lab-confirmed cases per capita.
According to the governor, Wyoming continues to see scattered small outbreaks and indoor social gatherings continue to be a factor in driving the spread.
The number of active cases in Wyoming has also continued to climb, remaining over the 600 mark for the last week and reaching 647 on Sunday.
The full impact of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is not yet known, but the Rapid City Journal reports that, so far, 105 people from South Dakota who attended rally now have COVID-19. The report also details 131 cases associated with the rally elsewhere in the nation, including ten in Wyoming, 49 in Minnesota, 30 in North Dakota, 20 in Colorado, seven in Nebraska, six in Montana, six in New Hampshire, two in Wisconsin and one in Washington.
Wyoming’s ongoing state health orders allow outdoor gatherings of no more than 50% of venue capacity, with a maximum of 1000 people as long as social distancing and increased sanitization measures are in place. Indoor gatherings in a confined space remain limited to 50 persons without restrictions and 250 persons if social distancing and sanitization measures are incorporated.
The public health restrictions that apply to restaurants, bars, gyms, performance spaces and personal care services also remain unchanged, as does a requirement that students in schools wear face coverings in situations where six feet of separation cannot be maintained.