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Casper-Natrona County Health Department served 35,000 in 2021; standard services kept up through pandemic

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The week of April 18–22 has been proclaimed The Casper-Natrona County Health Department Week by the Natrona County Commission and other municipalities in the county.

Chairman Paul Bertoglio read the proclamation, acknowledging the department’s contributions in health and safety in the county, at the regular meeting Tuesday, April 19. 

Established in 1954 to service environmental health and community sanitation, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) ended up under the spotlight in unprecedented ways the last two years through the pandemic. The proclamation notes that “the [CNCHD] has led the way in providing care during the COVID-19 response through testing, vaccination and treatment.” 

From March 2020 through June 2021, before the last two surges of the virus across the state, the CNCHD administered 18,425 COVID tests at five locations and administered 28,907 COVID vaccines since they became available, according to a release from the department.

Throughout the upheaval of the pandemic, the department continued to administer its broad range of standard, sometimes overlooked services. Those included treatment and testing for STDs, family planning services, and care for mothers and babies through pregnancy, nursing, and parenthood. It treated and administered vaccines for influenza, hepatitis, pertussis, norovirus and other diseases.

The CNCHD said that between July 2020 and June 2021, the department performed more than 1,100 environmental health inspections at day cares, restaurants, schools, medical facilities, pools, spas, health clubs, tattoo studios and hotels.

It also trained hundreds in community health topics like suicide prevention, binge drinking and drug abuse. 

“More than 50 cancer patients benefited from patient navigation services, and 70 children were provided with special health services for conditions like cleft palates and heart conditions,” the department said

In all, the department says 35,000 people used its services in 2021.