Tyler Johnson, [email protected]
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (December 1, 2020) – Sweetwater County Public Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon said the mask mandate that was put in place around mid-November will continue on until Jan. 4, if approved by State Public Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist.
“This is not just like the flu. Masks do work,” Stachon said in a media briefing via Zoom on Tuesday.
She added that Sweetwater County currently ranks third out of 23 Wyoming counties in COVID-19 cases.
That’s a major drop off from where the county once stood back in July when it was ranked 22nd, Stachon noted.
In July, there were 62 total lab-confirmed cases in Sweetwater County. As of Dec. 1, there are now 1,848 total lab-confirmed cases. In the last two weeks alone, there have been over 1,100 new cases.
On Sunday, Nov. 15, there was a total of 662.
According to Trista Cross from Sweetwater County Public Health, there are over 1,800 active positive cases.
Of people being tested, about 20% are testing positive.
In the month of November, Stachon said that eight people in the county died due to COVID-19. From when the pandemic began to November, there were only two.
Stachon said it’s best to celebrate the holidays within ones household, but understands that is not a feasible request. She suggests when families are gathered to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing.
She said that while eating, don’t sit next to each other at table, but recommends spreading out throughout the house and eating in different rooms or bedrooms.
If traveling for the holidays, Cross said it could be wise to get tested upon return. However, it may take up to 14 days for the symptoms of COVID-19 to occur.
Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County is currently conducting 240 tests per day, which is causing lengthy lines and a long wait time. Stachon said there are hopes to create two lines to make things go quicker and that the national guard is needed. There is currently a two-day wait period to get back the results of the test.
Stachon said that Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon will have a new set of health orders