While eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Park County over the weekend, 26 people have recovered from the virus since Friday. There are now 18 active cases in the county.
The new status was announced by Dr. Aaron Billin, Park County Public Health officer, early Sunday morning.
Over Friday and Saturday, Park County crossed the century mark for cases with 102 positive confirmed tests among residents since March. Five of those new cases came after a recent political meet and greet at downtown restaurant Gasthaus Cardi.
The county has also had 10 probable cases, 89 recoveries and no deaths since the pandemic began. In the past two days, one probable case was also discovered.
The political event July 19 at the downtown Cody restaurant resulted in significant exposure to COVID-19 with five positive tests, Billin announced in a statement last week.
He said contact tracing began as soon as public health became aware of the positive cases. He first became aware the restaurant closed voluntarily Thursday.
“If you attended this event, please monitor your symptoms (including but not limited to fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue or loss of smell/taste), call your healthcare provider and consider being tested,” he said. “If you were in close contact with someone who was feeling ill, visibly symptomatic, or later became ill; please limit your contact with others until you have received instructions from your healthcare provider.”
For questions, call the Public Health Office at (307) 527-8570.
While Billin said he did not want to disclose the name of the restaurant, there was only one local public event advertised Sunday at a downtown restaurant. This was a “Meet & Greet” event held outdoors at the establishment for state senate candidate Tim French and house candidates Dan Laursen, Nina Webber and Rachel Rodriguez-Williams at Gasthaus Cardi.
Over the weekend, the four candidates and the owners of Gasthaus Cardi, Chuck and Ricki Struemke, released a statement on the matter, expressing hope everyone infected following the event would recover.
“We were devastated when we were made aware that a few attendees at our event have tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement reads in part. “We are gratified and happy that the establishment has acted in a responsible manner, voluntarily closing to review their COVID-19 protocols. We look forward to visiting our friends at the restaurant upon their reopening.
“Please pray for a swift recovery for those who have tested positive. Everyone should continue to treat this outbreak seriously; we must make decisions based on science and facts, and not let panic and emotion rule in reacting to COVID-19.”
At least seven tourists have tested positive in Cody and Yellowstone National Park but are not included in local numbers. Nine temporary residents have also tested positive.
Positive tests by municipality included 37 Powell residents, 31 in Cody, nine in the Pahaska area, four in Wapiti, three in Frannie and Garland, two in Crandall and one in Ralston and Yellowstone Park.
Recovery is defined as when a patient has gone three days without a fever and has seen improvement in respiratory problems.
Quarantine vs. Isolation
In recent weeks, Park County Public Health has clarified the difference between a quarantine and an isolation order.
Quarantine is reserved for people who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 but are not symptomatic. These people are instructed to remain at home but can be around other quarantined household members as long as they are not symptomatic. A quarantine period lasts for 14 full days.
The quarantine period is considered to start from the day when the point of contact with the infected individual occurred. Quarantine can be concluded on the 15th day.
Anyone who is symptomatic needs to be away from all people.
Isolation is for those who are confirmed positive for the virus from a test or are exhibiting symptoms and came in contact with someone who was confirmed positive.
Isolated people need to separated from all other people. If they are not separated, their household members’ quarantine period will only begin after the isolated person is completely healthy.
Isolation lasts at least 10 full days from the positive test or the symptoms’ onset. If 10 days have passed, there have been no fever within 72 hours, and all symptoms are at least getting better, the patient may leave home on the 11th day. Any lack of those criteria will cause the isolation period to be extended.
Tests are not recommended to gain approval to return to work as people can still shed the virus months after getting it.