Northwest College reported a positive case of COVID-19 on campus Tuesday and the county recorded its first death from the virus, an elderly Park County woman who contracted COVID-19 at a long-term care center out of state died at a hospital in July, according to the State Department of Health.

Agnes D. Orrell, age 92 of Meeteetse, died Sunday, July 12, at Billings Clinic in Billings following having COVID-19. She had recently been moved to Canyon Creek nursing home.

The Powell college learned of its first positive case Monday night, less than two weeks after starting the school year.

In a letter to all NWC students and staff, president Stephanie Hicswa said the individual and all individuals determined to be at risk due to close contact have been properly notified.

"At this time, everyone has taken the necessary precautions to eliminate any spread of the virus to the campus and the community," she said.  

Student Success Center and Human Resources staff are utilizing the COVID Connection process and following NWC health and safety protocol to notify relevant parties for support services.

"If you are notified, please remember to keep all individual health information confidential," she said. "We will continue working closely with Park County Health officials on this and any other COVID cases that may occur."

 Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin said early Monday morning only six county residents have active cases of the virus, three of those in Yellowstone National Park. There is one active case in Cody, one in Meeteetse and one temporary resident.

He lists 183 total cases of COVID-19 – including 14 probable cases and nine cases amongst temporary residents – with 177 recovered.

The state orders continue to allow outdoor gatherings of no more than 50% of venue capacity, with a maximum of 1,000 people as long as social distancing and increased sanitization measures are in place. Indoor gatherings in a confined space remain limited to 50 persons without restrictions and 250 persons if social distancing and sanitization measures are incorporated.

The public health restrictions that apply to restaurants, bars, gyms, performance spaces and personal care services also remain unchanged, as does a requirement that students in schools wear face coverings in situations where 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained. Specific exemptions are listed in the orders.

Over the past 14 days to last Thursday, Wyoming averaged 35 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day, compared to an average of 27 cases per day for the period of July 30-August 12. More than 104,000 tests have been completed by the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory and private reference laboratories as of Aug. 27.

The Wyoming Department of Health and Gov. Mark Gordon continue to strongly recommend the use of face coverings in public settings where it is not possible or reasonable to stay physically apart. On Wyoming’s COVID-19 dashboard, the categories of number of new cases and new hospitalizations continue to be rated, “Concerning.”


(Amber Peabody contributed to this story.)

(6) comments

Jim Jones

Park County's first Covid-19 related death was a woman who was living out of state and contracted coronavirus out of state. Brilliant.

Wyoming resident

Apparently they are to stupid to know she lived in Montana and not in Wyoming. She was a Montana resident and not a Wyoming resident.

Joseph Gargery

According to the Wyoming Department of Health's website, Park County has had 164 total cases (including the probables); with 125 recoveries. By that data, there are 39 active cases in our County. Dr. Billin states there are are only 6 actives in the County. What is the explanation for this disparity?

Wyoming resident

Apparently someone doesn’t know how to add.😂😂

Jim Jones

What about the Cody Enterprise "copy and paste reporters" and the editor? No body proofs what they publish in this Award Winning newspaper. When it comes to Covid-19 they all toe the liberal Democrat line. Nobody asks any questions, nobody does any research.

Jim Jones

Here's what I find more important: only 4.9% of the 41 deaths, 2 people, did not have underlying heath conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease. According to the latest CDC data, the average person listed as a Covid19 related death had an average of 2.6 co-morbidities including "Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events." Unintentional injury and other adverse events are official Center for Disease Control Covid-19 co-morbidities. Test positive at 9:00AM, die in a plane crash at 10:30AM and your death is added to the Covid19 totals. Test positive and your wife feeds you poision? According to the CDC your death is in the Covid19 total. Only two people in Wyoming have died solely of Covid-19 according to the Wyoming Health Department. Two. According to the CDC, only 9,120 people in the USA have died solely of Covid-19. Read through table 3 on this page: Look at the list of co-morbities. They are all very serious illnesses. Most of these people would have died if they caught a cold.

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