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First Campbell County coronavirus case confirmed; new patients in Teton, Fremont counties identified
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First Campbell County coronavirus case confirmed; new patients in Teton, Fremont counties identified

Virus Outbreak US Testing

In this March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York's Long Island. 

Campbell County's first coronavirus patient was identified by the state Friday afternoon, hours after a ninth case of the respiratory illness was confirmed in Fremont County, where all of the area's previous cases had been linked to an assisted-living facility in Lander.

Also on Friday afternoon, St. John's Health in Jackson confirmed on its website that Teton County had its second confirmed case there.

The three new Friday cases are Wyoming's 19th, 20th and 21st confirmed COVID-19 patients, all of whom have been identified in the past nine days.

Few details were available Friday about the new cases. No additional information about the Teton County patient was available on St. John's website. 

Kim Deti, the Health Department spokeswoman, said the Campbell County patient is an adult female who is not currently hospitalized. It's unclear if the patient's test went through the state lab or a commercial lab, as several of the confirmed cases have. 

It's unclear if the latest Fremont County case is linked to the previous Lander cases. In a press release, the Fremont County Sheriff's Office said the patient "has been hospitalized and in isolation at Sage West for a number of days."

Mike Hutchison, a spokesman for the emergency response team in Lander, said in an email that the patient "is not a resident of the Showboat Retirement Center but there is indication that it is related to prior confirmed cases at the Showboat."

Deti told the Star-Tribune in an email that the new Fremont County patient is an older woman who's been hospitalized and is "likely" tied to the Lander cases, though that hadn't been confirmed as of Friday morning.

The virus has spread across Wyoming in a little more than a week. As of Friday afternoon, there have now been four cases in Cheyenne; four cases in Sheridan, which are linked; nine cases in Lander, also linked; one in Park County; two in Teton County; and one in Campbell County. 

The eight Fremont County patients with confirmed ties to the assisted-living facility are all either residents or staff members there. Three of them are hospitalized, according to the Fremont County emergency response team, as is the county's newest patient.

Word of the the new cases of the coronavirus in Wyoming comes less than a day after Gov. Mark Gordon ordered the closure of many businesses across the state for the next two weeks. Those businesses include bars, gyms, coffee shops, museums and more. Restaurants can continue to operate, but can only offer takeout or delivery services.

The order also required schools to close. However, most had already done so following the governor's recommendation on Sunday.

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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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"Wyoming, we have a tendency to just kind of pooh-pooh things and blow it off," the head of the state's hospital association said, "but this thing’s here, it’s at our doorsteps, and we can control our own destiny if we do the right thing."

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