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Sublette Case Count Rises to 71

Sublette County had an increase of one new COVID-19 case today. The Wyoming Department of Health reports 53 positive cases, and 18 probable cases, for a total of 71 cases for the county so far in the pandemic. There are 16 active cases, 54 recoveries, and 1 death. On Friday there were 48 people in isolation or quarantine in the Boulder, Daniel and Pinedale areas.

Sublette County School District No. 1 announced that a student at Pinedale Elementary School has tested positive for the coronavirus. The school district has reported positive cases in the elementary, middle, and high school since the start of the school year.

Contact Tracing & Community Spread

When a COVID-19 case is confirmed, Sublette County Public Health officials begin the process of contact tracing. During a confidential interview, public health staff will work with the patient to recall everyone with whom they’ve had close contact. A close contact is a person who was within 6 feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or more, starting 2 days before the positive test or 2 days before the onset of symptoms.


A close contact may also be someone who provided care at home to someone who was sick with COVID-19, or someone who had direct physical contact (touching/hugging/kissing) with an infected person, and/or a person with whom the infected person shared drinking or eating utensils. The most common close contacts are family members, co-workers, friends, and those who have traveled in a car with positive case. So close contacts are those individuals that have had direct contact with the lab-confirmed case.


Public health staff have been conducting contact tracing since the first case of COVID-19 was detected back in the county in late March. Fortunately, most of the known cases in the county could be traced back to other cases, or to travel to areas with known community spread, or other known exposure. That changed with the recent surge in cases. This is known as community spread – the spread of an illness for which the source of the infection is unknown.

Viral Test

A viral test tells you if you have a current COVID-19infection. The Wyoming Department of Health reports that by Sept. 16, 2020 there have been 1,320 tests completed from Sublette County, for a positivity rate of 2.25%.

Antibody Tests

Antibody tests are used to tell if a person had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, but are not used to diagnose a current infection. An antibody test might tell you if you had a previous infection. But there is a chance that a positive result means you have antibodies from an infection with another virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses). An antibody test should not be used to find out if you have a current infection because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies.


If you'd like to get an antibody test, call one of the clinics for an appointment with the lab. A $50 fee is due at the time of service.


These are the antibody test results for Sublette County as of Sept. 3, 2020:

Pinedale: 169 tests, 12 positives, 7.1% positive.

Marbleton: 43 tests, 5 positives, 11.6% positive.

Sublette County Total: 212 tests, 17 positive, 8.0% positive.

Symptoms

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.

Simple Steps

Help reduce community spread of COVID-19 by following these precautions:

• If you’re sick, stay home.

• Maintain social distancing.

• Wear face coverings.

• Wash your hands often.

• Cover coughs and sneezes

• Disinfect surfaces and objects regularly.

Graphic provided by BryanHealth.com.


Testing Availability:

The Sublette County Rural Health Care District is currently offering testing for Covid, Influenza, and Strep for symptomatic patients Monday through Friday in Pinedale from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., and in Marbleton from 1-5 p.m.


Appointments for collection are required and will need to be made with the front desk at either clinic location and clear directions will be given as to where to go and how the testing will be completed.


Results may take up to 24 hours. Clinic staff will call with results once complete or results can be viewed on MyChart, our medical records system. If you need MyChart access please inquire with the front desk.


These tests will be free of charge for all children 18 years of age and under. 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.


*It may be possible that you will be required to see a provider depending on symptoms and test results.


Collection personnel will ask screening questions to determine if you need to be seen.


Contacts:

Pinedale clinic: 307-367-4133

Marbleton clinic: 307-276-3306

Public Health: 307-367-2157

A Reminder About Confirmed & Probable:

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, health officials made a distinction between lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and probable cases. While the lab-confirmed cases are just that, the Wyoming Department of Health website still defines probable cases as “close contacts of lab-confirmed cases with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.” Initially this was an important distinction: With a national shortage of testing supplies, not everyone who was symptomatic could be tested. Testing was limited to symptomatic patients meeting certain criteria, and close contacts of lab-confirmed cases.


Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then. The Sublette County Rural Health Care District (RHCD) is now able to do most COVID-19 testing in house, without the need to send most samples to an outside lab for confirmation, a process that can take days. That’s great news, and what’s even better is that the RHCD lab is usually able to get the results back to the patient within the same day, or within 24 hours.


This major progress in testing is made possible by the type of test RHCD is using in most situations involving symptomatic patients. Without going into too much detail about testing protocols, what you need to know is that the traditional COVID-19 test is the PCR test, which looks for pieces of the RNA (genetic code) of the virus that causes COVID-19 to determine if the person has an active infection.


While the PCR test is still available and used in certain situations, the RHCD is using an antigen test for symptomatic patients, which looks for pieces of proteins that make up the capsule of the coronavirus to determine if the patient has an active infection. A positive antigen test confirms the presence of an active COVID-19 infection, and RHCD is able to do this test inside its own laboratory, for a fast result. However, a negative antigen test is not conclusive, so further testing may be recommended to rule out COVID-19.


But when the positive RHCD antigen test makes its way into Wyoming Department of Health reports, it is included in the “probable” cases rather than “lab-confirmed” cases (which is where the PCR positive results are recorded). For all practical purposes, these two categories are now the same when it comes to a positive test result at the local level. That’s why you may notice many counties reporting their total case numbers without going into the details on how many are “probable” and how many are “lab-confirmed.”

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