CASPER, Wyo. — During a press conference on Wednesday, March 25 Wyoming Department of Health Director Mike Ceballos provided some updates on COVID-19 testing capacity in the state.
Ceballos said that by the end of the week, 2,650 more sample kits would be sent to health departments in all Wyoming counties along with the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes. He said that an additional 500 would be sent to replenish stock at various departments.
“Our supply is growing,” he said. “The problem that we’ll continue to have though is how to meet the demand.”
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The test kits sent to counties include swabs, tubes and all media necessary to take COVID-19 samples. Ceballos said there is still a shortage of this in Wyoming as well as nationally.
“We cannot test every case,” he said.
Ceballos said that the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory has expanded their ability “ten-fold” during the COVID-19 outbreak. But the lack of tests will remain a difficulty.
“These kits and tests will be a challenge, we don’t have all we need,” Ceballos said.
He added that three orders issued by Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon since the COVID-19 outbreak were aimed at helping the state navigate the health crisis without overwhelming the medical system.
“All three of these orders are present now,” Ceballos said. “We need to take this seriously.”
He said that people attempting to stay home as much as possible and comply with state orders could help Wyoming avoid taking “more Draconian measures.”
Gordon himself said during the conference that he was hoping to avoid issuing a stay-at-home order.
“We will see more of these tests coming in positively,” Gordon said.
He noted that just because a county doesn’t have a positive case of COVID-19 confirmed didn’t mean the virus isn’t present in that county’s population.
As of 1:25 pm Wednesday, the Wyoming Department of Health reported 41 positive cases of COVID-19 across nine of the state’s 23 counties.
The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:
What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.
If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.
Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.
For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.