The Wyoming Department of Health is reporting 178 COVID-19 cases in Park County as of Thursday afternoon. This marks a 28-case or 18% jump since Tuesday afternoon. 

According to WDH, there has been 455 total lab-confirmed cases in the county and 274 recoveries.

There is often a discrepancy between the numbers provided by the State and Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin. In his last post early Wednesday morning, Billin was reported 114 active county cases and 385 recoveries. 

As of Tuesday, Park County had the fifth most active cases in the state.

There are 2,379 active cases in Wyoming and 68 deaths from the coronavirus. 

Wyoming saw a record 251 new cases on Monday.

On Friday morning, Wyoming had a reproduction rate of the virus at 1.24, the fourth highest for any state.

On Wednesday, Northwest College reported seven active cases on its campus and 15 other cases in quarantine. The school has also had seven recoveries. 

"To mitigate the spread on campus, we have isolated COVID positive students in designated apartments and quarantined in place those individuals in close contact," President Stefani Hicswa. 

In the press release, Hicswa described the "cluster" of cases involving a group of epidemically linked students in the residence halls. She said the school's COVID Connection team is checking in with students frequently to ensure they have ordered meal delivery, have what is needed to continue their coursework, and to inquire about the severity of their symptoms.

Drive-thru COVID testing at the rodeo grounds will be taking a day off on Monday as Cody Regional Health erects a new shelter better able to withstand the chill of winter and forecasted bad weather. The new shelter will include heating for the workers. Testing will resume as normal on Tuesday.

CRH is also emphasizing the availability of free tests provided by the state, announced by the Governor last week. As of Wednesday, Oct. 21, only some 4,000 of 75,000 free tests had been claimed, according to Gov. Gordon. 

The tests are free for anyone with a Wyoming address, including shipping and handling. The non-invasive saliva tests are taken at home while a supervisor from Vault Health, the provider of the tests, ensures it is done properly. Results are reported within 48 hours of Vault receiving the testing kit. 

“Cody Regional Health is hoping local communities take advantage of this at-home option to help offset some of the burden on healthcare workers. We have been hit hard with the rise in COVID lately and believe this at-home testing kit is a great option,” said CRH Chief Ambulatory Officer, Andrea McKay in a release.

Drive-thru testing is typically available at the rodeo grounds from 8-11 a.m. or until tests run out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

On Wednesday Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming has submitted its initial plan for distributing and administering a COVID-19 vaccine to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The draft plan uses much of the vaccine ordering, distribution, administration and reporting infrastructure already in use by WDH.

A vaccine is expected in 2021.

Brewgards Bar and Grill and the Cody Chamber of Commerce have shut down due to positive test results among their staffs. Neither have announced a date for reopening. Brewgards has been closed since last weekend.

Libations liquor store closed its lobby Thursday morning out of an "abundance of caution," as reported on its Facebook. Its' drive-thru is still open for business.

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