ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (June 29, 2020) — The Sweetwater County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) held a press conference today, in which it was discussed the current situation Sweetwater County is in with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kim Lionberger, Sweetwater County Public Health Director and Dr. Cielette Karn, Medical Director of Memorial Hospital Of Sweetwater County’s Department of Pathology were in attendance and helped to clarify a number of questions regarding quarantine and isolation orders.
Jason Mower, Public Information Officer for Sweetwater County Public Health, reported that the week of June 21-28 saw a record of 28 new COVID-19 cases reported in Sweetwater County. The old record stood at 15 in a seven-day span.
As of the meeting, Sweetwater County stands at 78 total cases.
Mower said that contract tracing for these cases has been a “mixed bag” of successes and failures.
Kim Lionberger spoke of some details regarding quarantine and isolation orders.
According to Lionberger, an isolation order is issued if a patient tests positive or is considered a probable case for COVID-19, while quarantine orders are issued for those who have had close contact with others who have tested positive.
Isolation orders can last a varying amount of time, while most quarantine orders have a maximum of 14 days.
Negative COVID-19 tests do not shorten quarantine orders, as the incubation period of the virus can last up to 14 days.
Though most isolation and quarantine ordered residents do follow the rules, Lionberger did mention that those who break these orders can face fines and jail time.
Although medical professionals will not track those with isolation or quarantine orders, those who violate the order can be prosecuted by the county attorney.
On a positive note, Lionberger believes that last week’s COVID-19 cases were mostly people who had already been under quarantine.
“We look at those as wins where we have stopped transmission for those individuals,” Lionberger stated.