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Deaths of Sweetwater, Fremont county residents from coronavirus confirmed Thursday
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Deaths of Sweetwater, Fremont county residents from coronavirus confirmed Thursday

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A Sweetwater County woman and a Fremont County man have both died from the novel coronavirus, the state Health Department announced Thursday, bringing the state’s death toll from the virus to 24.

The Sweetwater County woman was in her 90s and lived in Green River, according to an announcement from the Sweetwater County District Board of Health. She is the second Sweetwater County resident to die from the disease this week.

The Fremont County man was described by the Wyoming Health Department as an “older man” who had “health conditions known to put patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19.” He had been hospitalized in another state at the time of his death. He is the 10th Fremont County resident to die of the virus.

Wyoming has now recorded 24 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

The Sweetwater County woman initially tested positive on July 7 and was in fair condition while managing her symptoms at home, the announcement states. Her condition deteriorated and her symptoms, which included body aches, fatigue and a cough, worsened enough that she was admitted to the hospital on Saturday. She died Wednesday afternoon.

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The woman suffered from preexisting health conditions that are known to put people at higher risk of serious illness or medical complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Sweetwater County’s first death occurred on Monday evening, when a Rock Springs man in his 70s died. That death was announced Tuesday. That man also died rapidly after contracting the virus and becoming hospitalized last week.

The two Sweetwater County fatalities were among three patients hospitalized this week at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County for treatment after contracting COVID-19.

The three deaths, all confirmed within the past week, have occurred amid a surge in new cases that began in early June. Southwest Wyoming has been hit particularly hard by the spike. Sweetwater County, for example, had recorded 80 confirmed cases as of July 1. That figure had risen, as of Thursday afternoon, to 147.

The number of hospitalizations in the state has also increased as cases spike. As of Thursday morning, 18 Wyomingites were in the hospital with the virus, the highest total since April 21. Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie has five hospitalized COVID patients, the most of any facility in the state.

Neighboring Uinta County also experienced an outbreak that local health officials attributed partially to bar patrons who did not observe social distancing.

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Editor

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.

Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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