First COVID-19 death reported
July 15, 2020
By DAVID MARTIN
An unidentified Sweetwater County man is the first person in the county to die from COVID-19, according the Wyoming Department of Health.
The man was 77 years old and had health complications known to increase the risk of serious illness from the virus. According to Jason Mower, interim public information officer for Sweetwater Public Health, the man started experiencing symptoms July 7 and was taken to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County July 10 after testing positive for COVID-19. He died Monday.
Mower said Sweetwater County has had 140 lab-confirmed coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, with 105 recoveries recorded. He also said two other COVID-19 patients are at MHSC, but are in stable condition and have not been placed on a ventilator.
Wyoming has had 22 coronavirus-related deaths out of 1,545 lab-confirmed cases and 359 probable cases reported since the start of the pandemic. According to the state health department, resident deaths are added to the state’s coronavirus-related total based on information on the death certificate and if death was caused or contributed to a person’s death is based on a medical opinion of what lead to the death. If COVID-19 did not contribute or directly cause a death, despite a person testing positive for the disease, that death won’t be listed as a coronavirus-related death.
Symptoms from the disease can take anywhere between 2 and 14 days to develop after viral exposure.
Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. The disease can be transmitted by people who are not experiencing symptoms.
In an ongoing analysis of available data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underlying medical conditions that put individuals at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 most often include chronic heart or lung conditions, uncontrolled diabetes and immunodeficiencies.
“On behalf of the entire MHSC family, we express our deepest sympathy for the family and loved ones of our first COVID-related death in Sweetwater County,” Irene Richardson, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said in a press release from Sweetwater Public Health.
“Our thoughts are also with the families of others who have been affected by this disease. The health and safety of our patients, staff and community continues to be our top priority.”
The department of health recommends staying home from work and away from others when ill, unless medical care is needed; maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet whenever practical and wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing is not reasonable.