Daily Wyoming coronavirus update: 12 new cases, 6 new recoveries

A private medical firm employee takes a coronavirus test sample Wednesday in Warsaw, Poland.

Czarek Sokolowski, AP Photo

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming rose by 11 on Monday, along with one new probable case.

Six of the newly confirmed cases come from Natrona County. Two new cases were confirmed in Hot Springs, and one case apiece was confirmed in Albany, Fremont, and Johnson counties. Two new probable cases were confirmed in Uinta County, and one was removed from Hot Springs County’s total.

Five new confirmed coronavirus recoveries were also announced, as well as one probable recovery.

Probable cases are defined by officials as close contacts of lab-confirmed cases with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

A patient is considered fully recovered “when there is resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) for 72 hours AND at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared,” according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

There are now 766 cases — 577 confirmed and 189 probable — and 504 recoveries — 367 confirmed and 137 probable — recorded in the state, as well as 10 deaths.

About 64 percent of confirmed patients have fully recovered, a number that grows to 65.8 percent when factoring in probable figures.

Officials caution that the reported numbers are low, even with the addition of probable cases.

On April 2, the Wyoming Department of Health began restricting testing to six priority categories; potential patients who don’t fall in one of those categories had to be tested by private laboratories. However, the department announced April 23 that it would be able to resume testing patients outside of those six categories, although priority patients’ samples remain at the front of the line.

Patients have tested positive for coronavirus in 21 of Wyoming’s 23 counties. Only Platte and Weston counties are without confirmed cases. Wyoming and Alaska have the lowest recorded number of coronavirus deaths of any states, and Wyoming’s death rate (1 in 72,345 residents) is third-lowest to Alaska and Hawaii, according to the New York Times. The state’s infection rate (1 in 768) is seventh-lowest among states, also according to the Times, which includes probable counts where they exist.

Less than 13 percent of Wyoming’s cases required a hospital stay. In 14.4 percent of the cases, health officials don’t know if the patient was hospitalized.

The virus has disproportionately affected people of color throughout the United States, a trend that is also reflected in Wyoming’s data. Less than 49 percent of confirmed cases in Wyoming are white, 32.8 percent are American Indian, 12.5 percent are Hispanic, 0.9 percent are Asian, and 1.4 percent are black. The racial identities of 8.7 percent of confirmed cases in Wyoming are not known, and 2.9 percent of confirmed cases identified as other races. According to 2019 census estimates, Wyoming’s population is 83.8 percent white (not Hispanic/Latino), 10.1 percent Hispanic/Latino, 2.7 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, 1.3 percent black, 1.1 percent Asian and 2.2 percent two or more races.

In 50.8 percent of the cases, the patient came in contact with a known case. In another 11.7 percent of the cases, the patient had traveled either domestically or internationally. Community spread has been attributed to 18.5 percent of the cases. In 10.7 percent of Wyoming’s cases, health officials don’t how the person was exposed to the virus, and 11.8 percent of cases are pending investigation.

Cases in Wyoming by county (probable in parentheses)

Albany: 10

Big Horn: 2 (1)

Campbell: 16 (13)

Carbon: 7 (7)

Converse: 14 (9)

Crook: 5

Fremont: 203 (21)

Goshen: 4 (1)

Hot Springs: 4 (3)

Johnson: 12 (4)

Laramie: 119 (62)

Lincoln: 11 (3)

Natrona: 49 (13)

Niobrara: 1 (1)

Park: 1

Platte: 0

Sheridan: 12 (4)

Sublette: 1 (2)

Sweetwater: 16 (7)

Teton: 69 (31)

Uinta: 8 (4)

Washakie: 13 (3)

Weston: 0

Deaths in Wyoming by county

Fremont: 5

Johnson: 1

Laramie: 1

Teton: 1

Rate of spread

This graph shows the rate at which confirmed and probable cases in Wyoming have been announced, as well as the number of patients who have fully recovered.

Keep in mind, however, that state and medical officials say the true number of COVID-19 cases is surely higher than the official numbers due to testing limitations.

Testing statistics

The Wyoming Department of Health has published the following data:

As of Monday, there have been 17,661 tests performed for COVID-19 in Wyoming.

  • Wyoming Public Health Laboratory: 7,953
  • Commercial labs: 9,708
  • CDC: 1

National cases

There have been more than 1.5 million cases nationally, with about 90,000 deaths, according to the New York Times’ running count.

Know the symptoms

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is a respiratory illness. Its symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. Symptoms appear within two weeks. If you have contact with a person who has COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days.

Follow the Wyoming Health Department’s tips

Stay home when sick and avoid contact with other people unless you need medical attention.

Follow advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what to do if you think you may be sick.

Follow current public health orders.

Follow commonsense steps such as washing your hands often and well, covering your coughs and sneezes, and cleaning and disinfecting.

Nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other healthcare facilities should closely follow guidelines for infection control and prevention.

Older people and those with health conditions that mean they have a higher chance of getting seriously ill should avoid close-contact situations.

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The deaths occurred in March and April in Colorado and were reported recently to Wyoming’s Vital Statistics Services Office, the state said.

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