The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming rose by 13 — five confirmed, eight probable — on Tuesday, the same day that four new deaths were announced in the state.
Fourteen new confirmed coronavirus recoveries were also announced Tuesday, alongside three probable recoveries.
The new confirmed cases, added at two separate times Tuesday afternoon, were reported in Laramie (three), Campbell and Lincoln counties.
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 441 cases — 322 confirmed and 119 probable — and 254 recoveries — 184 confirmed and 70 probable — recorded in the state, as well as six deaths, all of which have been reported since April 13.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe confirmed early Tuesday that four of its members, including three in the same family, died Monday after testing positive for the disease. The state Health Department later confirmed the deaths.
After a weeklong stretch (March 31-April 6) in which the state averaged more than 16 new confirmed cases per day, the state has now not had a double-digit confirmed case load in a single day since April 11.
Officials caution that the reported numbers are low, even with the addition of probable cases. Natrona County health officer Dr. Mark Dowell said the decreased rate of new cases is "falsely low."
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 now must be tested by private laboratories.
The state Health Department has said it's too soon to tell whether the drop-off is a result of the testing change, though Gov. Mark Gordon has said that the projected peak of the disease in Wyoming has not yet arrived.
Patients have tested positive for coronavirus in 21 of Wyoming's 23 counties. Only Platte and Weston counties are without confirmed cases. Wyoming has the lowest recorded number of coronavirus deaths of any state. South Dakota has the second fewest deaths related to the virus, with eight, according to the New York Times.
More than 16 percent of Wyoming's cases required a hospital stay. In more than 5 percent of the cases, health officials don't know if the patient was hospitalized.
In about 49 percent of the cases, the patient came in contact with a known case. In another 17.7 percent of the cases, the patient had traveled either domestically or internationally. Community spread has been attributed to about 13 percent of the cases. In 15.5 percent of Wyoming's cases, health officials don't how the person was exposed to the virus.
The state's per capita case ranking has fallen in recent weeks; Wyoming has more cases per 100,000 people than six states, a number that was once as high as 20, according to the Times.
Cases in Wyoming by county
- Laramie: 76 confirmed (34 probable)
- Teton: 62 (30)
- Fremont: 51 (6)
- Natrona: 38 (10)
- Campbell: 14 (4)
- Sheridan: 12 (4)
- Johnson: 11 (4)
- Sweetwater: 10 (6)
- Converse: 9 (6)
- Albany: 6
- Lincoln: 6 (3)
- Uinta 6 (1)
- Washakie: 5 (3)
- Carbon: 4
- Crook: 4 (1)
- Goshen: 3 (1)
- Big Horn: 1 (2)
- Hot Springs: 1 (2)
- Niobrara: 1 (1)
- Park: 1
- Sublette: 1 (2)
Deaths in Wyoming by county
- Fremont: 4
- Johnson: 1
- Laramie: 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.
The Wyoming Department of Health has published the following data:
As of Saturday afternoon, there have been 7,363 tests performed for COVID-19 in Wyoming.
- Wyoming Public Health Labratory: 3,692
- Commercial labs: 3,670
- CDC: 1
There have been more than 793,000 cases nationally, with about 39,000 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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