The Saratoga Sun -

Definitely not slowing down

Carbon County Public Health give COVID-19 update to BOCCC


April 15, 2020

Despite the grip that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has on Wyoming, Carbon County is one of the counties with the fewest confirmed cases. As of Monday afternoon, the county had only four confirmed cases. Two of those cases were discovered and treated out of state and three of the cases are fully recovered. While confirmed cases in the county are limited, Carbon County Public Health and the Carbon County COVID-19 Incident Management Team are still preparing for additional confirmed cases.

At the April 7 meeting of the Board of Carbon County Commissioners (BOCCC), Public Health Nurse Manager Amanda Brown provided an update to the BOCCC. In part of her update, Brown informed the commissioners that, while two cases were out of state, they are required to be counted for Carbon County.

“They do still have to be counted for our county because they are residents of our county. Regardless of where they are treated or diagnosed, it always goes to where they are permanent residents,” said Brown.

She also informed the BOCCC that, as of April 7, her department was observing eight illnesses with symptoms similar to COVID-19.

“That could be any individual that is tested and we’re pending the test or somebody that is diagnosed for COVID-19 from a physician without testing. One of those is hospitalized right now, so we are monitoring that,” Brown said. “We do have a few people in isolation in connection with positives that are not sick. So they are doing the 14-day isolation to watch for symptoms, so we’re monitoring all those symptoms as well.”

As of Monday, according to a situational debrief from Jacquelin Wells, public information officer for the COVID-19 Incident Management Team, public health was investigating 28 cases of illnesses with COVID-19 symptoms. Of those, seven had fully recovered. One case was being hospitalized at Memorial Hospital of Carbon County as of Monday.

Brown added that she was watching the national map of confirmed COVID-19 cases on a daily basis. She stated that it was continuing to move west from the East Coast.

“It’s definitely not slowing down yet,” said Brown. “We are keeping track of our updated public health orders and all of our guidance from the State as best we can because it is changing very rapidly.”

According to Brown, she was working with the testing sites within Carbon County to collect data from them on what those locations were seeing and how many they were testing. That data would then be compiled into a centralized location that could be tracked as well as allowing resources and protocols to be shared among the testing sites.

As of Monday, the Wyoming Department of Health website was showing 51 tests for COVID-19 at the Wyoming Public Health Lab for Carbon County with one test still pending. 

Those testing sites are Memorial Hospital of Carbon County (MHCC), the MHCC Family Clinic, Cedars Health Clinic and Platte Valley Clinic.

“Our public health orders were extended through April 30. We … fielded a lot of calls and emails regarding questions on that and we have several people requesting exceptions to those orders. It does say that our county health officer can, or has the authority to grant those exceptions,” Brown said.

Indeed, under all three public health orders issued by Governor Mark Gordon and State Health Officer Alexia Harrist a provision allows for exceptions to be granted by the County Health Officer in conjunction with the State Health Officer. Under the orders that closed restaurants, bars, gyms, nail salons and tattoo parlors, it states that if effective cleaning and safety measures are demonstrated in writing then an exception may be granted. Additionally, under the order limiting gatherings of 10 or more people, exceptions may be granted if it can be shown that people at a gathering will maintain six feet of distance and effective cleaning will be done before and after the gathering.

“As of right now, he’s choosing not to. So, we have notified several people that, as of right now, until this slows down, we will not be issuing any exceptions to the orders,” said Brown.

The next meeting of the Board of Carbon County Commissioners will be at 9 a.m. on April 21 at the Carbon County Courthouse in Rawlins.


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