County 10 has received numerous questions about the Coronavirus and how it may impact Wyoming. Alexia Harrist, MD, PhD, is the State Epidemiologist and State Health Officer for the Wyoming Department of Health. She announced that the Wyoming Department of Health is, “closely monitoring the situation.”
At this time there are no reported cases in Wyoming and the risk to our residents from the disease remains low. Currently we believe the risk for disease is primarily among travelers to other countries with community transmission. However, it is becoming increasingly likely that COVID-19 will eventually spread to our state.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold in people and others that circulate among animals. This is a new virus and new viruses need special attention. There are simply some things we don’t know about COVID-19 such as how easily it spreads and how many patients may experience severe illness, and there is no available vaccine.
However, the symptoms reported with this disease are familiar to all of us: fever, cough and shortness of breath. We know there are common-sense steps that can help prevent these kinds of illnesses from spreading:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
- Stay home if sick.
- Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Coronavirus information and updates from our department can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/. If you are interested in receiving our future news releases, you can sign up here: https://health.wyo.gov/news/.
For now, we also want Wyoming residents to pay attention to special travel recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Our most important piece of advice right now is for people to stay informed about COVID-19 and to look for updates and recommendations from credible sources such as our department and the CDC.