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Casper child care center closed, 58 told to quarantine after child tests positive for coronavirus
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Casper child care center closed, 58 told to quarantine after child tests positive for coronavirus

Virus Outbreak

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the spherical particles of the new coronavirus, colorized blue, from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. Antibody blood tests for the coronavirus could play a key role in deciding whether millions of Americans can safely return to work and school. But public health officials warn that the current “Wild West” of unregulated tests is creating confusion that could ultimately slow the path to recovery.

A child at a Casper day care center tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the center’s closure and the testing of 32 staff members and children, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department said Wednesday.

The agency confirmed that the child was infected with COVID-19 on Wednesday morning. The child, who was tested after a parent tested positive for the coronavirus, last attended the facility on May 13.

A spokeswoman for the Health Department said this is the youngest confirmed case in Natrona County. Eight of the county’s 53 cases have been minors, and four of those were under the age of 13.

All children who were associated with the center were required to quarantine for 14 days due to the contagious nature of the virus, the Health Department said. The announcement did not identify the child care center.

In all, 58 staff members and children were advised to quarantine. Of those, 16 staff members and 16 children were identified as having close contact with the positive case and were advised to immediately get tested for COVID-19. That majority of the tests occurred on Wednesday.

The health department said it would work with the facility to ensure it was cleaned and sanitized before reopening.

“We have complete confidence that they were following criteria to protect children and families they serve,” the health department said in a statement. “This was a situation believed to be unrelated to their actions and they still assisted in every way possible for the community’s benefit.”

The closure comes amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Natrona County. In eight days, tests have confirmed 15 cases after the county went three weeks without a positive.

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Joshua Wolfson joined the Star-Tribune in 2007, covering crime and health before taking over the arts section in 2013. He also served as managing editor before being named editor in June 2017. He lives in Casper with his wife and their two kids.

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