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Twelve more Wyomingites die from COVID-19, health department reports
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COVID-19

Twelve more Wyomingites die from COVID-19, health department reports

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Virus Outbreak

This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. 

Twelve more Wyoming residents have died from COVID-19, the Wyoming Department of Health reported Wednesday.

The 12 deaths are the most reported by Wyoming health officials at one time and put the state’s total COVID-19 death toll at 105. Five of the 12 deaths announced occurred late last month, according to the department.

Health officials announced six coronavirus deaths on Monday. Combined, the total announced this week is higher than the death toll in all months in Wyoming save for October, when the state announced 37 deaths.

The deaths reported are as follows:

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  • An older adult Albany County man died within the last week. The man was hospitalized and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An older adult Big Horn County woman died late last month. It’s unclear whether the woman was hospitalized or had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19. She was a resident of a local long-term care facility;
  • An older adult Big Horn County man died late last month. It’s unclear whether the man was hospitalized or had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19. He was a resident of a local long-term care facility;
  • An older adult Campbell County man died last month. The man was hospitalized and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An older adult Converse County man died within the last week. The man was hospitalized, was a resident of a local long-term care facility and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An older adult Fremont County woman died last month. The woman was hospitalized, was a resident of a local long-term care facility and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An older adult Fremont County man died within the last week. The man was hospitalized and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An older adult Laramie County woman died within the last week. The woman was not hospitalized, was a resident of a local long-term care facility and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An older adult Natrona County man died last month. The man was not hospitalized, was a resident of a local long-term care facility and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An older adult Platte County man died within the last week. The man was hospitalized and was not known to have health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An adult Sweetwater County man died within the last week. The man was hospitalized and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19;
  • An older adult Sweetwater County man died within the last week. The man was not hospitalized and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19.

Local, state and federal health experts have warned that more deaths are inevitable as cases and hospitalizations continue to surge. Wyoming has more than 5,000 active cases, when including probable patients, and has recorded exponential growth in new cases reported daily as well as the number of patients hospitalized statewide. Currently, 138 people are hospitalized for the virus in Wyoming — the most of any point in the pandemic so far.

Despite surging cases, officials have struggled to convince residents of the severity of the present situation. Natrona County Health Officer Dr. Mark Dowell was shouted down in a public meeting Monday when he began to share information about the virus’s spread locally. The meeting, called by the Natrona County Commissioners and attended by health officials, community leaders and Casper City Council members, was held to discuss the county’s response to the ongoing pandemic.

But before officials could share information, the crowd erupted into shouts and skepticism about the validity of the information being shared. Many feared the county would pass a mask mandate, but elected officials said they had no such intentions during Monday’s meeting.

Laramie County passed its own mask requirement last week, but enforcement of the measure is already being questioned. Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove told KGAB in Cheyenne her office would not be prosecuting anyone who violates the mandate.

The state of the pandemic in Wyoming has become increasingly fraught over the last month. Nov. 4 marked the first time the state’s 10-day average in new cases exceeded 400. In the last week of September, that average hovered around 100 new daily cases. New highs for hospitalizations have also been a near-daily occurrence since late September.

Follow health and education reporter Morgan Hughes on Twitter @m0rgan_hughes

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Health and education reporter

Morgan Hughes covers health and education in Wyoming. After growing up in rural Wisconsin, she graduated from Marquette University in 2018. She moved to Wyoming shortly after and covered education in Cheyenne before joining the Star-Tribune in May 2019.

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