CNCHD defines "recovery" and "exposure" to COVID-19, talks facemasks - Casper, WY Oil City News
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CNCHD defines “recovery” and “exposure” to COVID-19, talks facemasks


CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper Natrona County Health Department is echoing the Wyoming Department of Health, when defining the terms “recovery” and “exposure” and they concern coronavirus caused COVID-19.

The Wyoming Department of Health recently released guidelines surrounding what they use to define recovery.

CNCHD spokesperson Hailey Bloom told media on March 6, 2020; that a case is defined as “recovered” when there is resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath for 72 hours and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

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“It is likely that you need to be in direct close contact with someone with COVID-19 when they have symptoms, or during the 48 hours (2 days) before they develop symptoms, to get infected,” Bloom said Monday.

The WDH also issued guidance on what they are considering as an “exposure” to COVID-19.

Bloom went on to say that “close contact” includes:

  • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for 10 minutes or longer, OR
  • Being in direct contact with respiratory droplets from a sick person with COVID-19 (For example: being coughed or sneezed on or sharing utensils).

“There have been many questions surrounding if we would be releasing all of the locations and dates anyone who tested positive has been in the community in the days leading up to their positive test result,” Bloom said during the briefing Monday afternoon. “The reason we do not do this is because the risk or possibility of getting ill from this type of exposure is extremely unlikely and very low.”

Bloom went on to say that a person’s best defense while out in public places is to: 

  • Limit trips out
  • Limit trips to one adult per household
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Wipe down shopping carts
  • Maintain social distance from others

“The CDC recently changed their guidance surrounding wearing face coverings or masks in public,” Bloom also said during the Monday briefing. “The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (such as: grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Bloom said that cloth face coverings, fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost, can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

“Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance,” Bloom advised.

It was clarified during the briefing that cloth face coverings are not the same as surgical masks or N-95 respirators. 

“Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance,” Bloom said. “There are instructions on how to sew a cloth face covering or make one out of household materials on the CDC website.”

CDC information on cloth masks

As of Monday morning, 25 cases were reported in Natrona County and 4 Natrona County residents have recovered.

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:

  • 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.