Six new COVID-19 cases reported Friday among NCSD students and staff - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Six new COVID-19 cases reported Friday among NCSD students and staff

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Four more students and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, the Natrona County School District said on Friday, Oct. 16.

The newly announced cases include:

  • Kelly Walsh High School staff 
  • Verda James Elementary staff
  • KWHS student 
  • NCHS student
  • Centennial Junior High student
  • Manor Heights Elementary student

The district has now seen a total of 53 confirmed COVID cases among students and staff since the start of the semester.

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The district also reported Friday that there are currently 86 students who have been directed to quarantine by Casper-Natrona County Health Department or designated healthcare providers. The district said as of 6:00 pm Friday that an update on staff quarantine numbers was still pending.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, NCSD reported 5 additional cases within the district, including:

  • Evansville Elementary staff 
  • KWHS student 
  • KWHS student
  • KWHS student
  • NCHS student

NCSD did not report any new cases on Tuesday or Wednesday, but reported six new cases on Monday, including:

  • Verda James Elementary student 
  • Ft. Caspar Elementary student 
  • Dean Morgan Junior High student
  • Bar Nunn Elementary student
  • KWHS staff
  • NCHS staff

While the district has been seeing cases, Natrona County health officials said in a press conference Wednesday that the district would be seeing a higher number of cases if students and staff weren’t wearing face masks.

Wyoming Medical Center Chief of Staff Dr. Andy Dunn said the school district and the school board’s work around COVID-19 is “something to be proud of in our community.”

“They’re doing a great, great job,” Dunn said. “Something to take pride in and continue to support.”

Natrona County Health Officer Dr. Ghazi Ghanem said that while the community is seeing a surge in cases, that wouldn’t lead to the closure of schools again unless “absolutely necessary.”

The district reports cases on their COVID-19 dashboard after receiving confirmation of a positive case from the Casper-Natrona County Health Department.

“The Natrona County School District will provide updates, as applicable, of CNCHD confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 within schools/facilities,” the school district says on its website. “We will share the number of confirmed positive cases, the school/location, and the date the confirmed positive was reported to NCSD by CNCHD.”

The district says any information that may allow the identification of an individual is not released to the public.

Daily updates on COVID-19 cases within the NCSD can be found here.

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.