Powell Valley Healthcare confirmed a positive test of COVID-19 on Monday night, the second positive in Park County and first since March, Park County Public Health officer Aaron Billin said.

The patient, a Powell woman, is quarantined at home and the case appears to have been imported from out of state. Public Health nurse Bill Crampton said the woman had traveled to Utah to visit a relative who ended up testing positive.

Public health will be working with the State of Wyoming Epidemiology Unit to conduct contact tracing on the resident, although Crampton said the patient told hospital staff she had driven to Utah and back without any stops where she came into contact with anyone.

“Sounds like very limited contact,” he said.

A total of 437 people have been tested in Park County, the majority at Cody Regional, which has had two positive tests – one of a Big Horn County man.

“With increased travel comes increased risk of transmission in the community,” Crampton said. “We ask that business owners, residents and guests to the area please adhere to the recommendations regarding masks, gloves and frequent hand washing. Anyone who is ill should not go out in the public during this time.”

The result comes soon after a spike in confirmed cases at a Worland nursing home.

“This is a reminder that we must continue to work to protect our vulnerable populations, namely those over 65 and with underlying health conditions,” Billin said.

The news comes alongside results from the first test of wastewater in Cody, which showed no traces of the virus. Crampton said a second test would be done soon and he expects more positive cases as tourists flock to the area.

“This is the beginning of tourist season,” he said. “I suspect we’re going to see more of these.”

Park County was one of the earlier counties to see a case of coronavirus. The health care worker quarantined at home and had recovered as of March 31. 

State cases

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming grew by 13 on Wednesday, with new cases detected in seven counties.

The state Department of Health also announced the death of an eleventh Wyoming resident related to the illness.

The growth came one day after the public health officer in Natrona County, where confirmed coronavirus cases have increased by 15 in the last week, urged residents to adhere to public health recommendations that are still in place.

“You loosen the recommendations and the compliance with what we want you to do and you see an increase in cases,” Dr. Mark Dowell said during a news conference Tuesday. “I’ve got to tell you, we can do a better job as a community at following the guidelines from the state and from our Health Department.”

The department said a Fremont County man’s death was linked to coronavirus and he  suffered from pre-existing conditions that would make him more vulnerable to coronavirus.

The state’s case total stood at 596 on Wednesday with new cases reported in Campbell, Carbon, Fremont, Hot Springs, Natrona, Park and Sweetwater counties. The largest increase was in Fremont County, where five new cases were reported. One new case was diagnosed in Park County, the first new case reported there in almost two months.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Fremont County had 209 cases; Laramie County had 121; Teton County had 69; Natrona County had 53; Campbell and Sweetwater counties had 17; Converse had 14; Washakie had 13; Johnson and Sheridan counties had 12; Lincoln had 11; Albany had 10; Carbon had nine; Uinta had eight; Hot Springs had six; Crook had five; Goshen had four; Big Horn and Park had two, and Niobrara and Sublette counties both had one case.

The number of people declared recovered on Wednesday, six, brought the total number of recoveries since mid-March to 534, including 394 among patients with confirmed coronavirus cases and 140 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 191 on Wednesday.

(Wyoming News Exchange newspapers contributed to this report)

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