Wyoming is breaking previous records for the number of new COVID-19 cases per day (more than 160 on Sunday), with more than 1,000 active cases today. Every county in Wyoming reported new active cases over the weekend.
The Wyoming Department of Health reports that on Sept. 28, 2020, Sublette County has had 100 total cumulative cases, with 69 recoveries, 1 death, and 30 active cases. Sublette County has detected 30 new cases in the last 10 days. Sublette County Public Health reports there are currently 70 people in isolation or quarantine in the county.
In addition, late this afternoon Sublette County School District No. 1 notified the public that five new cases were detected in students today, including three at Pinedale Elementary, and one each in the middle and high schools.
There are significant changes to COVID-19 response this week as well:
• Governor Mark Gordon announced that new statewide public health orders will be released this week easing some restrictions on restaurants to allow increased seating capacity. Other anticipated changes will allow some indoor visitation at long-term care centers.
• Last week the Wyoming Department of Health changed its guidance for K-12 schools to no longer recommend a quarantine if a potential school exposure occurs while both the infectious individual and the close contacts are wearing face coverings. Exposure that occurs in a school setting where face masks are not worn (including sports) will continue to require quarantine.
• Sublette County Health Officer Dr. Brendan Fitzsimmons has issued new guidance for Sublette County schools that lengthens the time away from school for symptomatic students and staff who are not tested for coronavirus. Effective today, symptomatic students/staff will not be able to return to school sooner than 5 days unless they can demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test result or an alternative diagnosis from a doctor.
• Due to a change in federal regulations, Sublette County Rural Health Care District medical clinics be sending all coronavirus tests to the Wyoming Public Health laboratory for follow-up confirmation. Patients will need to quarantine until the state lab results are received, which will generally be within 48-72 hours.
• Due to the recent surge in new cases, Sublette County Public Health is extremely busy with contact tracing. A person receiving a positive COVID-19 test will be contacted by Public Health with 24 hours and an isolation order will be issued. Close contacts of positive cases will then be contacted and issued quarantine orders that direct them to stay home and monitor for symptoms until the expiration date of the quarantine order, which is 14 days from the date of exposure, unless the person develops symptoms. Persons under quarantine orders should call Public Health for further guidance if they do become symptomatic.
What hasn’t changed is the general recommendations to slow or prevent the spread of the virus: If you’re sick, stay home.
Maintain social distancing, wear face coverings, wash your hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects regularly.
• Disease symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
• People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, chills, muscle pain or aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and new loss of taste or smell.
• Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
• People with COVID-19 can be symptom-free for up to five days, not realize they are carrying the virus, and spread it to others more at risk than themselves.
The Sublette County Rural Health Care District is offering testing for COVID-19, Influenza, and Strep for symptomatic patients on weekdays in Pinedale from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., and in Marbleton from 1-5 p.m.
Appointments for collection are required. Call the Pinedale clinic at 307-367-4133, or the Marbleton clinic at 307-276-3306 for an appointment. These tests are free for all children 18 years of age and under. Patients should quarantine until test results are received (within 48-72 hours).
If you are over the age of 18 and asymptomatic, or have a known exposure, please contact Public Health to determine whether or not you qualify for testing. If you are symptomatic and underinsured, please call Public Health at 307-367-2157 to learn if you qualify for a voucher for a free test.
Sublette County Public Health is conducting surveillance testing of essential personnel at various locations in the county each week. Employers interested in doing their own surveillance testing may email Dr. Fitzsimmons (Dr.Fitz@sublettewyo.com) for information about private laboratory services available to assist in such efforts.
There’s An App For That
Care19 Alert is a free app for mobile phones in Wyoming that allows you to take an active role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by privately logging where you have been so that you can more effectively and efficiently communicate your contacts and locations to contact tracers if you are COVID-19 positive.
Your information is 100% anonymous. In the event you test positive for the virus you can consent to make your information available at your discretion to the Wyoming Department of Health.
Care19 Alert is extremely private and it helps to notify those people who may not be identified during the contact tracing process that they could have been exposed. Care19 Alert requires that both people in an interaction are using the application. So even if you don’t know a person or that you were around them, they can be notified if you test positive.
Care19 Alert helps us get more people notified to take precautionary measures than we can capture with the current contact tracing efforts. The app will share the date of exposure and recommendations for quarantine/symptom monitoring, but no identifying information about who the case was. Learn more about the app online at covid19.wyo.gov/care19-app.