Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

COVID-19 confirmed in nursing home

Infections reported in LTC as state continues to see concerning spread


November 12, 2020

Confirmation this week that the coronavirus pandemic has reached inside the Sundance hospital building and caused infections among the elderly residents of the long-term care facility.

“We do currently have positive cases of COVID-19 in the LTC,” confirms CEO Micki Lyons.

At this time, she says, everything possible is being done to keep infection numbers from rising.

“We are following the CDC guidelines as well as the recommendations from the Wyoming Department of Health as means to decrease the spread and keep everyone as safe as possible,” she says.

“In-person visitation remains closed until further notice but we encourage families to visit through Zoom or FaceTime.”

The news comes at a time when infections within Crook County are continuing to spread at a more rapid rate than at any time before during the pandemic. A total of 44 new confirmed and 2 probable cases were officially identified here between Wednesday and Monday.

Half of those were announced on Friday, when 22 were added to the tally. This came alongside the news that Wyoming as a whole had once again smashed its record with a total of 917 new cases in a single day.

The following day was the best in a while, with only 147 new cases. However, this was a relative anomaly, and Sunday saw 646 cases recorded.

Active cases have continued to rise by the day. On Sunday alone, the caseload jumped by 540 to a total of 6881.

In the surrounding area, Weston and Campbell Counties are both in a similar situation to Crook, with daily caseloads rising. Once boasting one of the lowest infection rates in Wyoming, Weston County currently has 164 active confirmed cases, while Campbell has 868 and has been one of the top counties in the state for new cases all week.

Over the border in Lawrence County, the South Dakota Department of Health describes the level of community spread as “substantial”, with 485 active cases reported on Monday.

The Wyoming Department of Health announced on November 6 that the dramatic increase in case counts have made it challenging for state and county public health representatives to handle the volume of contact tracing calls and related activities as they had been earlier in the pandemic.

“To make the most of our available resources we will focus now on following up in a timely manner with residents who have tested positive. Close contacts may also receive calls at times from public health representatives, but only in certain priority situations and settings,” said state health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist.

“Because not everyone who is identified as a close contact should expect a call from a public health representative for now, we have worked to offer easy-to-understand information available to help people know what to expect and what they should do.”

This information can be located on the Wyoming Department of Health website.

Hospitalizations are still rising sharply, with 172 people reported to be in hospital with COVID-19 symptoms as of November 9. Two patients had been admitted to Crook County Memorial Hospital as of November 9.

A total of 21 new deaths have also been recorded in Wyoming, bringing the total to 114. All were older adults and all but five were recognized as having health conditions putting them at greater risk; nine are reported to have been resident of long-term care facilities.


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