Wyoming recorded its eighth coronavirus-related death over the weekend as a COVID-19 outbreak at a nursing home added seven new confirmed cases to the state’s total.
The Wyoming Department of Health reported Saturday an older Fremont County woman had died as a result of the illness. The woman had existing medical conditions that put her at higher risk of complications from the disease, the department said.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Wyoming’s confirmed number of coronavirus cases increased by seven, all from Washakie County, where an outbreak was detected at a Worland nursing home.
The department said five staff members and four residents of the Worland Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center have been identified as infected with the coronavirus, although confirmation through testing of some patients is still pending.
The department said it was unsure how the virus was introduced to the facility. Officials are trying to collect samples from all employees and residents to determine how widespread the outbreak might be.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s health officer, said nursing homes have been a top priority for the Health Department in its efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“We know the residents of these places are among the most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and we have seen terrible situations occur in other nursing homes across the country,” she said. “We also recognize that the nature of long-term care facilities can make it very challenging to control the spread of the virus once it’s been introduced into a specific location.”
The new cases in Washakie County pushed the state’s total to 566.
Fremont County had 202 cases; Laramie County had 119; Teton County had 69; Natrona County had 43; Campbell and Sweetwater counties had 16; Converse had 14; Washakie had 13; Sheridan had 12; Johnson and Lincoln had 11; Albany had nine; Uinta had eight; Carbon had seven; Crook had five; Goshen had four, and Big Horn and Hot Springs had two. Niobrara, Park and Sublette counties had one case each.
The number of recoveries seen since coronavirus was first detected in Wyoming in March stood at 498 as of Sunday, 362 among patients with confirmed cases and 136 among those with probable cases.
A probable case is defined as one where the patient has coronavirus symptoms and has been in contact with someone with a confirmed case, but has not been tested for the illness. As of Sunday, the Health Department said there were 188 cases.
The Health Department’s figures indicate there are 248 active cases of coronavirus around the state — 196 among those with confirmed cases and 52 among those with probable cases.
The number of active cases is determined by adding the confirmed and probable cases — 754 — subtracting the total number of recoveries and subtracting the number of deaths.