UW community urged to follow guidelines after COVID-19 rise in Albany County - Casper, WY Oil City News
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UW community urged to follow guidelines after COVID-19 rise in Albany County

(Oil City, file photo)

The University of Wyoming is reminding members of its community to follow social distancing and other health guidelines, following a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Albany County in recent days.

The Wyoming Department of Health reports that the number of confirmed cases has grown from 10 to 21 since Thursday.

Eight of those people have fully recovered, according the Albany County Public Health Office. In addition to the confirmed cases, four citizens are listed as “probable” for infection.

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A number of those positive cases are reportedly UW students or people of traditional college age. None are reported to be living in UW housing or working on campus.

“County public health officials are working with those who tested positive to self-isolate and are communicating with individuals with whom they have had contact,” UW said in a Tuesday statement.

“The main cause of the dramatic increase seems to be graduation parties, camping trips and other social situations where people did not practice social distancing and other recommended practices,” says Dr. Jean Allias, county public health officer. “Further, symptomatic and non-symptomatic patients returned to work and their families, furthering the spread.”

Allias emphasizes that the pandemic continues to be a public health emergency.

“Even though businesses and the community continue to open slowly, pandemic practices of social distancing, washing your hands frequently and cleaning of work surfaces continue to be important,” Allias says. “Since people can be contagious even if they don’t have symptoms, wearing a mask when in public is a good way to keep others safe from person-to-person transmission. Wearing a mask reduces the distance the virus can spread via respiratory droplets and ‘spray.’ Social distancing is most important, particularly if you’re in a large group.”

Those sick with COVID-19, waiting for a test result on COVID-19 or showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), are asked to stay away from campus, self-isolate and contact your health care provider for care.

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: covid@cnchd.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.