Update: The Wyoming Department of Health reported no new cases for the first time in months Friday.
A Washakie County man previously identified as one of Wyoming’s laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases has died, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
The older man was a resident of a Washakie County long-term care facility identified earlier as experiencing COVID-19 outbreak. Testing has so far identified five cases among facility staff and six cases among residents. The county has 16 cases, by far the most in the Big Horn Basin, and added three more Thursday.
There have now been 12 reported deaths, 608 lab-confirmed cases and 193 probable cases reported so far among Wyoming residents, along with 546 recoveries.
The death came one day after the Health Department reported the death of a Fremont County man related to coronavirus.
That death prompted Gov. Mark Gordon on Wednesday to urge Wyoming residents to abide by the safety guidelines that have been handed down by state health officials to stop the spread of the illness.
Gordon, speaking during a news conference, urged people to continue wearing face masks and social distancing as they return to work or begin visiting businesses that had been closed.
“If we become complacent, we could see more people getting sick and we would hate that,” he said. “We don’t want to lose the ground we’ve gained.”
The state’s restaurants, bars, gyms, churches and other institutions are reopening after being closed for weeks by statewide health orders. A requirement for many businesses to reopen is that their staff wear face masks.
However, Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s public health officer, urged everyone to wear face masks when in public and to follow other precautions that have been in place since the illness first reached Wyoming in March.
“We would ask everyone to make smart decisions,” she said. “Let’s all do our part to keep Wyoming on the right path.”
On Thursday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming grew to 608 with new cases in six counties, including the first case seen in Platte County.
As of Thursday afternoon, Fremont County had 213 cases; Laramie County had 121; Teton County had 69; Natrona County had 54; Campbell and Sweetwater had 17; Washakie had 16; Converse had 14; Johnson and Sheridan had 12; Lincoln had 11; Albany and Uinta had 10; Carbon had nine; Hot Springs had 7; Crook had five; Goshen had four, and Big Horn and Park had two. Niobrara, Platte and Sublette had one case each.
The new case in Platte County leaves Weston as the only county in Wyoming without a coronavirus case.
The number of people declared recovered on Thursday, 12, brought the total number of recoveries since mid-March to 546, including 402 among patients with confirmed coronavirus cases and 144 among those with “probable” cases.
Probable cases are defined as those where a patient has coronavirus symptoms and has been in contact with someone with a confirmed case, but has not been tested for the illness.
The number of probable cases stood at 193 on Thursday.
The number of active cases in Wyoming as determined using Department of Health figures stood at 245, including 196 patients with confirmed cases and 49 with probable cases.
The number of active cases is determined by adding the number of confirmed and probable cases — 801 — subtracting the total number of recoveries and then subtracting the number of deaths.