Watch Live: Wyo Governor Mark Gordon briefing on COVID-19 (4/8/20) - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Watch Live: Wyo Governor Mark Gordon briefing on COVID-19 (4/8/20)

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. —  The Wyoming Governor’s office has announced a briefing concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, scheduled for 1:00 pm, April 8, 2020. Oil City News is sharing the live feed of this briefing courtesy of the Wyoming Public Broadcasting System‘s YouTube channel.

LIVE UPDATES after the briefing begins (please refresh frequently to follow latest developments):

  • 221 confirmed cases in Wyoming
  • 33 statewide hospitalizations
  • Governor Gordon: It is critical that we not minimize the impact of this virus.
  • Monday: State delivered 3,900 sample collection kits
  • Disaster declaration requested for State of Wyoming Northern Arapaho, and Eastern Shoshone tribes
  • Telehealth network growing within the state.

Dr. Alexia Harrist, State Health Officer

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  • CDC recommends cloth face covering when out in public or in areas where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing.
  • Face coverings are NOT a substitute for social distancing
  • New “probable cases” numbers to be released by Wyoming Department of Health Wednesday afternoon.

Governor Mark Gordon

  • Wyoming citizens should stay home and avoid gatherings.
  • Quoting Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne Bishop Steven Biegler: “we are obligated to everything to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
  • Statewide movement down 37% according to Google, compared to before State Orders concerning COVID-19.
  • Visitors: Please delay your visits to Wyoming at this time.
  • Resist coming to Wyoming for antler collection.
  • Please recreate close to home, when choosing to go outdoors, and practice good social distancing.
  • If there are a lot of people at a recreation area, please choose another recreation area.

Robin Cooley- Director Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

  • Unemployment claims facing unprecedented load.
  • Claims up “3-to-8-fold.”
  • New claimants adding degree of difficulty to process.
  • Temp staff hired
  • Implementing additional phone lines
    • To address busy lines, long wait times, or non-connections
    • Potentially contracting with call centers and outside claims takers
  • Call process changing. Please adhere to phone alphabetical schedule:
    • A-M files Monday, Wednesday, and before noonFriday
    • N-Z files Tuesday, Thursday, and after noon Friday
  • Please file online if you can
  • CARES Act
    • Governor Gordon has signed required agreement
    • Programs being implemented initially as they roll out:
      • PUA Program- for gig workers, contract workers, and self-employed
        • Retroactive to January 27, 2020
    • FPUC – Eligible for any unemployment compensation program
    • PEUC – 13 additional weeks of benefits added to the end of normal benefits
  • It will take time to implement the new programs

Josh Durrell CEO Wyoming Business Council

  • Looking at short, mid, and long term effects of COVID-19.
  • Providing information to Governor and businesses.
  • Urging businesses to reach out to Small Business Development Center and Wyoming Business Council for help.
  • Future plans are based on virus progress, not on calendar dates.
  • Businesses should pay attention to state guidance

Governor Mark Gordon

  • Working with regional state governments for cooperation.
  • Stay at home
  • No gatherings
  • Wash hands 50 times a day for 20 seconds
  • Visitors from out of state must quarantine for two weeks.
  • Virus danger is real.
  • Wyoming residents should be commended for doing what needs to be done.

Robin Cooley- Director Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

  • Investigating questions and safety complaints by employees and employers.

Governor Mark Gordon

  • Some federal supplies are being diverted to areas in the country in genuine need.
    • Governor describes situation as frustrating.
    • Governor has spoken on issue with US Vice President Mike Pence
  • No specific date in mind for “peak” of curve.

Dr. Alexia Harrist, State Health Officer

  • Several factors need to be looked at before decided to roll back closures or changes.

Governor Mark Gordon

  • Commuters from Colorado need to take special precautions
  • Quarantine order is for non-work related travel.

Robin Cooley- Director Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

  • Nationwide document indicates that January 2020 Unemployment Trust Fund was third healthiest fund in the country.

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.