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3D illustration of Coronavirus, virus which causes SARS and MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Courtesy image

Wyoming’s coronavirus case total increased by nine to total 230 on Wednesday as the number of COVID-19 patients to recover from the illness increased by 32.

The Wyoming Department of Health announced in its daily coronavirus update that nine new new cases were detected in four counties, with Laramie County gaining five for a new total of 53. New cases were also reported in Crook, Natrona and Teton counties.

The Johnson County Emergency Operations Center reported Wednesday afternoon that there are eight confirmed cases in the county and two probable cases. Seven of the confirmed cases have recovered; one remains in isolation at home. To date, no cases have been confirmed in Kaycee. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, Laramie County had 53 cases; Teton County had 45; Fremont County had 38; Natrona County had 27; Sheridan County had 12; Campbell had nine; Johnson had eight; Sweetwater had six; Washakie had five; Albany, Carbon, Converse and Lincoln counties each had four, and Crook, Goshen and Uinta had three. Park and Sublette counties had one case each.

However, the number of recoveries also increased on Wednesday, growing to 94 from Tuesday’s total of 62.

Recoveries were seen in each of the counties where a coronavirus infection has been confirmed, with the exception of Crook County.

A recovery is considered to have occurred when a patient has gone three days without any symptoms.

Laramie County recorded 21 recoveries, while Teton County saw 19.

The Department of Health also began sharing statistics Wednesday on “probable” coronavirus cases, defined as someone who is suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus and has been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of the illness but has not yet been tested.

The department set the number of probable cases at 73 in 14 counties. Laramie County had the highest number of probable cases at 16, with Teton County reporting 14.

Also on Wednesday, Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s health officer, said she believes that by heeding the public health orders and recommendations to self-isolate, the state’s residents have “flattened the curve” in the coronavirus pandemic, helping to avoid overwhelming the state’s health care system.

However, she said during a news conference with Gov. Mark Gordon she did not know when the state could expect to see its case numbers peak and then begin to decline.

“I don’t want to say the peak will be in mid-May; we don’t have enough certainty in that to reassure people that will happen,” she said. “What we have done is through the public health orders we’ve written, we’ve flattened the curve.”

Gordon agreed the state’s residents appear to be traveling and gathering less, as he had recommended. However, he also said he had asked the state Game and Fish Commission to consider suspending the sale of short-term fishing licenses for out-of-state residents as a way to discourage travel into the state.

Meanwhile, more events and activities continue to be canceled in the face of restrictions on personal movement imposed by the coronavirus.

The Wyoming High School Activities Association announced Tuesday it canceled all spring high school sports because of the uncertainty created by COVID-19.

“Due to the continuing influence of COVID-19, we are not able to predict when it will be safe to resume spring sports, nor are we able to assure if any of our communities would be able to host any of our events,” the WHSAA’s board of directors said in a statement on the organization’s website. “We … understand the overwhelming disappointment this decision is for our student athletes, especially our seniors.”

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