Mask advisory given locally; county virus count still 38

Apr 7, 2020 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Health officials are asking people to wear masks in public as the coronavirus continues to spread in Fremont County.

Through Tuesday morning, 38 local patients hadbeen diagnosed with COVID-19: 24 in Lander, 13 on the Wind River Indian Reservation and one in Riverton, officials said.

In addition, more than 750 people with symptoms of coronavirus have been asked to self-isolate over the past 14 days, a county task force press release said.

Statewide, positive coronavirus tests reached 216 by Tuesday afternoon (see related story.)

Wyoming still has not had a confirmed death from the virus.

New patients

Sixty-six new patients were asked to self-isolate over the weekend, and nine new cases of coronavirus were confirmed Saturday in Fremont County, officials said.

All nine cases were located in Lander and were connected to the Showboat Retirement Center, officials said.

Fremont County's first coronavirus patient was an elderly man at Showboat, and the majority of subsequent cases locally have been connected in some way to the retirement home.

Officials said testing was ordered last week for the remainder of all residents and employees of the center.

Wear a mask

Monday's press release said "everyone" should wear a mask in public - even people who don't feel ill.

"You might be infected, never feel sick and still spread the virus," officials said.

People who are sick should wear a mask at home as well, as should anyone caring for a loved one who is sick.

Masks should cover the entire mouth and nose "snugly" in order to catch respiratory droplets that otherwise could spread and land on other people and surfaces, the press release said, noting that even non-medical cloth masks made of clothing or other cotton fabrics can help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Officials said residents should not wear N95 and hospital surgical masks if possible, as those items are "desperately needed by healthcare workers."

"Consider making extra masks for other people or to donate to clinics or businesses locally," the press release said.

'Badge of honor'

The face covering should be seen as "a badge of honor," officials said in Monday's press release.

"If I'm wearing a mask out in public, it means I'm concerned about you, I'm concerned about my neighbors, I'm concerned about strangers on the chance that I'm infectious," the statement read. "I want to do my part in limiting how I might impact you."

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