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.)