Second surge or just moving on

Governor Mark Gordon is pictured at an earlier press conference in which he brought residents up to date on the pandemic and state’s financial condition. COURTESY PHOTO

Number basically shift almost daily

WYOMING — Although Uinta County seems like a pretty safe haven against the virus and only reflecting 17 active cases Wednesday afternoon up down from 22 on Sunday, the state and nation are comparing an increase of cases to a new surge.

It was reported Thursday morning, Wednesday was the highest day of cases reported across the nation as 65,000 confirmed cases were reported.

The number of people in Wyoming reporting that an immediate family member had contracted COVID-19 doubled between September and October, according to the latest version of a University of Wyoming survey meant to gauge public opinions about the novel coronavirus. The total number of active coronavirus cases statewide, according to the latest report before the Pioneer’s press time, there  was 1,859, which was an increase of 133 over Tuesday’s 1,726.

Conducted Oct. 6, the ninth iteration of the university survey administered by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center shows a growing apprehension about the future and anxiety about the virus’s spread in Wyoming. Residents are showing more anxiety due to the increase the survey reported. Also hospitals are beginning to express concerns of how a surge will affect their facilities.

The latest figures received Wednesday by the Pioneer before press time put the number of laboratory-confirmed cases in Wyoming at 6,914 since the pandemic began. This placed Uinta County’s confirmed cases at 310 with 75 possible cases and 366 recoveries.

Over the past 14 days, Wyoming has averaged approximately 119 new cases per day, and the percent of COVID-19 tests with a positive result is 5 percent.

The 80 recoveries reported recently brought the number of people to have recovered from a confirmed or probable case of coronavirus since March to 6,261.

Three more Wyoming residents have died as a result of coronavirus, the Wyoming Department of Health announced Tuesday, bringing the state’s death toll from the illness to 57. The department said all three of the people who died were older adults who had existing health conditions known to make patients more susceptible to complications from the coronavirus. The deaths included one woman from Albany County and another from Washakie County and a Lincoln County man.

Due to the increases across the state and nation, the federal government sent out a notice to the Wyoming Department of Health urging the state to adopt a mask mandate. At this time the only county with such a mandate is Jackson/Teton County. Following this advisory from the federal government, Governor Gordon said the state was still monitoring the effects of the pandemic on Wyoming and there were things happening in Wyoming the federal government was not aware of and could use before establishing a mask mandate was necessary.

The Wyoming Department of Health did, according to the governor, extend the existing health orders from Oct. 16 through Oct. 31, unless rescinded. The order continues to urge the use of face coverings, restrictions on outdoor and indoor events as to social distance, staying home when ill, etc.

Another change across the state is Gordon has made free, at-home COVID-19 testing available to the state’s residents. The saliva test is administered by Vault Health and allows residents to get results at home without needing to visit a healthcare provider. Wyoming has purchased 75,000 tests and could obtain additional tests if needed. The program will supplement currently available testing options.

The Governor is utilizing Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds for the testing program.

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