CASPER, Wyo. — Some Wyoming hospitals are again implementing restrictions on visitors as COVID-19 cases rise.

SageWest Health Care, which operates hospitals in Lander and in Riverton, said on Tuesday that it is putting visitor restrictions in place due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in Fremont County. That follows an announcement from Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County on Tuesday that announced that elective surgeries would be cancelled due to a surge in COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Sweetwater County.

There are 233 active confirmed cases in Fremont County as of Tuesday and the county has been adding 35.4 new cases per day over the last seven days, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. The last time Fremont County saw an average daily new confirmed case rate that high was on Nov. 30, 2020.

Both SageWest Health Care-Lander and SageWest Health Care-Riverton had zero available intensive care unit beds on Monday. While ICU beds are not exclusively used to treat COVID patients, when ICUs fill up, health officials say this can strain hospitals’ ability to provide care to other types of critical patients.

“Like many communities across the country, we are starting to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases in our community,” said SageWest Health Care CEO John Ferrelli. “We believe the proactive effort is necessary to do our part in keeping our patients and caregivers as safe as possible.”

The visitor restrictions are effective immediately.

“There are select exceptions where one support person is allowed,” SageWest Health Care said.

Exceptions in which one visitor is allowed to visit a patient include:

  • Emergency department patients who are pediatric, have a life-threatening illness/injury or are unable to make their own decisions
  • Obstetric patients
  • Outpatient surgical patients
  • Patients with developmental delays
  • Patients who are receiving end-of-life care
  • Pediatric patients

Anyone who visits the hospitals will be required to take a temperature screening and answer a series of questions. Masks are also required.

“We want to reassure our communities that it is safe to come to the hospital should you or your family need care”, added Ferrelli. “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of everyone who walks through our doors and continue to provide the necessary care our communities need.”