LYMAN — Eight months into the pandemic, and the virus continues to know people worldwide for a loop.
As the world weathered COVID-19 scare through the spring, summer and fall, it seemed as if Wyoming was a protected area with little effects from the virus. But as the surge restarted in the world, the pandemic has raised its ugly head in Wyoming and Uinta County along with the rest of the world.
New developments Wednesday and this week included UW moving classes online starting Monday with students being told to go home, following a negative test, instead of waiting for the Thanksgiving break. In addition, they were urged to isolate for two weeks at home so they didn’t spread the virus to their families and communities.
In addition, the UW/Air Force football game for this week was cancelled, with no plans to reschedule.
It was also reported Wednesday morning, the surge in Wyoming had made contact tracing difficult as officials can’t keep up, even with the assistance of the National Guard, which was called out to help. Now state health officials are asking infected individuals to do their own contact tracing and notifications.
In response to Wyoming hospitals seeing a drastic spike in COVID-19 cases, Governor Mark Gordon is utilizing $10 million in CARES Act funds to bring additional medical personnel to the state to alleviate the strain on hospitals and Wyoming health care professionals.
The number of probable cases increased by 56 Wednesday to total 2,856 since the pandemic began. The growth in reported recoveries of 136 meant of the 19,374 people in Wyoming with confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, 11,234 have recovered since mid-March.
As for Uinta County, the latest report Wednesday afternoon was there were 172 active cases with 10 new ones reported Wednesday, and has had 494 confirmed cases, with 451 recoveries. The county also had 133 probable cases.
Governor Gordon was slated to hold a press conference today on the COVID-19 and what is happening in Wyoming. This week he said he was asking for assistance and bringing in medical personnel from other areas as hospitalizations had reached a high for the fifth day in a row as of Tuesday. Wyoming set a new record Monday with 172 hospitalizations.
The COVID-19 related deaths in Wyoming have grown drastically and it was reported Tuesday there have now been 40 coronavirus-related deaths so far in November in Wyoming, making November the deadliest month after only 10 days. One of these deaths last week included an older adult Uinta County man. The man was hospitalized both in and outside of Wyoming and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19.
The deaths of 13 Wyoming residents due to the coronavirus were confirmed on Tuesday. According to Kim Deti, Wyoming Department of Health, on Monday, there have now been 127 coronavirus-related deaths among Wyoming residents. The disease was first diagnosed in the state in mid-March stood at 16,442, an increase of 1,131 cases over the 15,311 reported the day before.
Some are calling for a statewide mask mandate, which Governor Gordon may address today in his press conference. As for a mask mandate, visitors to many Natrona County-owned buildings will now be required to wear masks.