Governor Gordon: Rise in COVID cases 'concerning' - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Governor Gordon: Rise in COVID cases ‘concerning’

Governor Mark Gordon approaches a podium during a briefing held on July 8, 2020. (Wyoming PBS, Youtube)

Governor Mark Gordon expressed his concern during a live news briefing on Tuesday about a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks.

Wyoming’s lab-confirmed positive cases on Tuesday hit a new one-day record, with 64 being reported by the Wyoming Department of Health.

“You’ll see that we are starting to move up pretty aggressively, and that’s concerning,” he said.

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The number of active lab-confirmed cases is at 521, up “substantially” from fewer than 300 a few weeks ago, Gordon said.

The total number of deaths from COVID rose by one to 26 today.

Gordon implored Wyoming residents to “act responsibly” and not to lose focus.

Noting that the biggest surge in cases is among younger people between age 19 and 29, the governor said he did not want to follow other the example of states who have moved to close bars where young people gather.

“We of course have not closed bars, but when things get so far out of hand as they have in Florida, Arizona and Texas – all Republican governors – who all said it was ‘the last thing we wanted to do but the first thing we had to do,'” said Gordon.

Gordon said the total number of COVID hospitalizations has increased to 15. “We aren’t just worried about hospital rates for COVID patients, we’re talking about making sure we have enough room if someone has a heart attack. We need to make sure that we have room to meet the needs as they arise.”

Gordon said opening schools was essential for children and the economy. “Many school districts are still finalizing their Smart Start opening plans,” he said. They’re due on Aug. 3rd. “It is really time now that we have school plans marked down and be confident that schools reopen and are safe.”

Gordon wrapped up the briefing by saying “we are at a tender time in Wyoming.”

“It’s sad to see another death today, it confirms the fact that this is a virus that has to be taken seriously.”

Gordon said he talked with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey today, who said “this virus is really scary.” Arizona’s COVID death toll is more than 3,400.

“I’m very glad we’re in a region of the county that’s had fewer cases…we are trying to make sure we find that right balance that doesn’t infringe on people.”

“But make no mistake, this economy can be closed if people are careless,” said Gordon.

“Let’s be mindful as we go forward.”

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.