Four Deaths Added to Wyoming's Coronavirus-Related Count
April 22, 2020
*UPDATE* Governor Mark Gordon has provided a statement on the death of four Fremont County residents who were members of the Northern Arapaho tribe.
"I want to extend my condolences to the Northern Arapaho Tribe and to the families of the four people that passed away last night due to COVID-19. These deaths highlight the insidious nature of the illness, as both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes took advanced protective measures early on, including through an aggressive testing strategy. I want to commend each of the sovereign nations for taking those early steps for the safety of Wind River Reservation communities. I continue to communicate regularly with Tribal leadership regarding both State and tribal strategies for handling the mounting challenges posed by COVID-19. During my conversation with Chairman Spoonhunter today, we agreed that the Tribes and the State must coordinate our response for the health of Wyoming citizens, as we are all in this together."
Four Fremont County residents, all previously identified as laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, have died, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
The newly confirmed deaths include an older man, older woman, adult woman and adult man. Each had been hospitalized. Two of the four had existing conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness related to the virus. There have been 320 confirmed and 116 probable cases reported so far from across Wyoming.
“These announcements are difficult to make,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH.
“We’ve talked a lot about who has the highest risk of hospitalization and death related to this disease and that is important information,” she said. “But the truth is anyone can get sick with COVID-19, anyone has a chance of a serious illness and anyone who is infected can pass COVID-19 on to others.”
WDH recommendations to help slow the spread of illness include:
· Follow current public health orders, which encourage staying home much as possible.
· Stay home when sick and avoid contact with other people unless you need medical attention.
· Follow common-sense steps such as washing your hands often and well; covering your coughs and sneezes; and cleaning and disinfecting.
· Wear cloth face coverings in public setting where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Symptoms reported with COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
For more information about COVID-19 from WDH, visit: https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.