The Wyoming Department of Health will be limiting coronavirus disease testing through the state public health laboratory for its established priority patients and situations, according to a news release.

“It’s been clear for some time that materials needed for sample collection and testing are in very short supply in Wyoming and across the nation,” said State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist, who also is the state epidemiologist.

"We’ve done well so far at our lab, but our concern about supplies of certain materials we need for testing has grown," Harrist said.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Harrist said the shortage of testing materials means not everyone who may have COVID-19 will be able to be tested. “We believe most people who become ill with this virus will experience mild illness and will be able to recover at home,” she said.

The Wyoming Public Health Laboratory will no longer accept samples from patients who do not fall within the department’s priority categories, she said.

The Department of Health has alerted health care providers and has described its testing priorities:

  • Hospitalized patients, including patients being tested prior to discharge to a long-term care facility.
  • Patients or staff in communal settings such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities or shelters.
  • Health care workers and first responders who provide direct patient care.
  • People over 65 or with underlying health conditions that put them at risk for severe illness.
  • People who have close contact with people who are over 65 or who have underlying health conditions.
  • Pregnant women.

The department has asked health care providers to send samples for other patients to private laboratories.

“We are hopeful the supply situation will improve, but in the meantime we must ensure timely testing is available when it can make the most difference to help meet our most critical needs," Harrist said.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the Department of Health's website.

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