Wyoming has identified its 19th case of the new coronavirus, according to the state health department's website.

It's the ninth case identified in Fremont County in less than a week.

On a conference call with officials Friday morning, Fremont County Public Health Officer Dr. Brian Gee described the newest case as being "distinctly related" to the cases previously reported at the Showboat Retirement Center in Lander, according to the city's Assistant Mayor Rajean Strube Fossen.

Dr. Gee did not elaborate, Strube Fossen said.

The first eight cases reported in Fremont County were identified in staff members or residents of the retirement center, which remains under quarantine.

In a phone interview with K2 Radio News, Strube Fossen said of the nine COVID-19 patients in Fremont County, four are currently hospitalized, but none of them have needed ventilators.

Contrary to some rumors being spread, particularly on social media, Strube Fossen said the county currently has adequate supplies and equipment to respond to the local outbreak.

Strube Fossen said the county has plenty of personal protective equipment, also known as PPE, and that gear is being distributed to workers who are addressing the needs of underserved populations, such as food bank workers.

Fremont County also has hundreds of COVID-19 test kits, she said, which have been routed to the county from other local governments in Wyoming as well as federal agencies.

The other COVID-19 cases in Wyoming are in four counties: Teton and Park counties each have one case, while Laramie and Sheridan counties have each identified four cases.

The Wyoming Department of Health urges residents to follow these guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading:

  • Stay home when sick and avoid contact with other people unless you need medical attention.
  • Follow advice from CDC on what to do if you think you may be sick.
  • Follow common-sense steps such as washing your hands often and well; covering your coughs and sneezes; and cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Nursing homes and other healthcare facilities should closely follow guidelines for infection control and prevention.
  • As much as possible, assisted living facilities should follow the same infection control and prevention practices as nursing homes.
  • Older people and those with health conditions that mean they have a higher chance of getting seriously ill should avoid crowds or close-contact situations.
  • Follow current social distancing guidelines.
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