Green River Star -

By David Martin
Publisher 

3 positive for COVID-19

Stay home if you’re not feeling well

 


Editor's note: This is an updated version of the print article published April 1. Between print publication and posting this article to our website, a third confirmation was announced.

A third confirmed case of COVID-19 infection was announced Wednesday evening by Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.

It also marks the third case confirmed in Green River.

According to a press release, the hospital was notified Monday by a private lab that a male in his 20s had tested positive for the virus. The third person is a male child, also living in Green River.

The both are self-isolating at home and is in good condition. As a result of the first two confirmed positive cases in Sweetwater County, health officials have identified dozens of people countywide who voluntarily are self-isolating as a precaution or self-isolating at the direction of their employers.

The first patient, a man in his 40s who had tested positive last week, remains in self-isolation. His quarantine ended March 27 while his close contacts will be quarantined until April 10.

“The community can expect increases in COVID-19,” Dr. Jean Stachon, Sweetwater County Health Officer, said. “This is the tip of an iceberg. It’s out there in numbers that can double every two to three days.”

“ This is the time for all of us to collectively act to stop the spread,” she said.

“The best thing you can do is to stay home and isolate yourself if you’re not feeling well,” Kim Lionberger, Director of Sweetwater County Public Health, said.

“This is serious,” said Kim White, Sweetwater Memorial Incident Commander.

“We’re concerned about our hospital being overwhelmed with patients and reaching a point where we may not be able to take care of those in need. Help us by staying more than 6 feet away from those you are not housed with. Social distancing is ‘physical distancing.”

According to statistics from Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, the hospital has collected 240 test specimens as of Monday, with 148 tests performed on those samples.

“Testing is still limited despite our best efforts. Results can be slow as a result of a nationwide backlog,” MHSC’s website reads.

So far, more than 100 cases have been confirmed in Wyoming. The county hardest hit by the virus is Fremont, with 25 cases as of press time. Laramie County has the second highest instances with 22 confirmed cases, while Teton has the third-highest number of confirmations at 20. Statewide, 1,553 tests were completed by the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory, as of Tuesday, with one test completed at a CDC lab and 544 test reports from commercial labs.

The Jackson Town Council voted to issue a shelter-at-place order, which took effect over the weekend.

While only two cases have been confirmed in Green River and Sweetwater County, Green River City Administrator Reed Clevenger said there have been discussions as to when a city should implement more aggressive restrictions.

“We are following the orders that come out of the state health department and the governor,” Clevenger said. “I know there have been discussions at that level and when and if it should be something to be considered, but at this point even with the new cases, we are managing under the current orders.”

Advice from Sweetwater County health care agencies are:

* Staying home, self-isolating and social distancing doesn’t mean stop moving. Find ways to get some steps in – work and play in your yard, go for a walk in the county’s wide, open spaces.

Movement will help you avoid a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot. Clots can break off and go through your heart to your lungs. Stay active.

* Social distancing is important.

Work from home. Make use of Skype, Facetime, email, and text to stay in touch with friends and loved ones.

* If you have a temperature of 100 or greater or a cough, call your provider or call the MHSC COVID-19 Nurse Triage Line at 307-522-8523 to discuss COVID-19 symptoms.

* Stop the spread. Don’t touch your T-zone – eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your cough –cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, NOT in your hands.

More health and community updates can be found at sweetwatermemorial.com, sweetwater311.org, covid19.wyo.gov., and cdc.gov.

 

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