Nine new cases of coronavirus have been identified in Fremont County, all of which are tied to a Lander assisted-living center, authorities said Saturday.
Officials have ordered all of the remaining residents and staff at the Showboat Retirement Center to undergo testing, according to an announcement from the Fremont County Incident Management Team.
Testing has identified 36 cases of COVID-19 in Fremont County — tied for the second most in Wyoming. But the total is almost certainly higher, health experts say, because of the lack of testing supplies. In fact, doctors there have directed at least 670 people to self-isolate in the past two weeks.
In a video Wednesday, Fremont County Health Officer Brian Gee said that the county had eight of the state’s 16 hospitalized patients and more than half of them were critically ill and on ventilators. Three of those critically ill patients are under the age of 60, he said.
Wyoming’s second coronavirus case was an older man who lived at the facility. He was identified in mid-March. Since then, health officials have linked a few dozen of the cases to Showboat.
Health officials have warned that the worst place for the virus to spread is within long-term facilities and hospitals, where people are in close quarters and where health care workers and those with chronic health conditions are susceptible to infection.
In Natrona County, testing has identified 10 cases of COVID-19 tied to the Wyoming Behavioral Institute.
As of Saturday morning, health officials were aware of 187 cases of coronavirus in Wyoming. Forty-nine people have recovered. No deaths have been reported.
Star-Tribune staff writers Seth Klamann and Brandon Foster contributed to this report.
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