Wyoming State Health Officer on Wednesday said COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing in the state's long-term care facilities.

Dr. Alexia Harrist said on September 8, there were cases in five long-term care facilities. That number spiked to 23 as of Tuesday.

Those numbers are in line with the state as a whole as cases continue to surge.

"The coronavirus is a quickly growing problem in Wyoming," Harrist said.

During Wednesday's news conference, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon urged the state's residents to take the virus seriously.

"This isn't chickenpox," Gordon said.

He later added, “If you are a patriot. If you love this country, you will recognize this is an hour of need for our country and as citizens, we must all come together to fight this terrible, terrible disease. We can do this without compromising our liberty." 

Both Gordon and Harrist called Wyomingites to take personal responsibility. That means social distancing. It means wearing a face covering.

Harrist said the lack of outbreaks in Wyoming's school is proof that wearing face masks works.

This story will be updated. 

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