Park County had 38 active cases of COVID-19 on Monday — 36 confirmed and two probable, according to Wyoming Department of Health data. That was down from 46 active cases on Saturday and up just …
Park County had 38 active cases of COVID-19 on Monday — 36 confirmed and two probable, according to Wyoming Department of Health data. That was down from 46 active cases on Saturday and up just slightly from a week earlier.
The largest number of active cases was in Cody as of Sunday, with 14, according to a post from Park County Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin. Another 13 infected people had unknown addresses. Only one of the active cases was in Powell, according to Billin’s data.
Across the state of Wyoming, the Department of Health reported 609 active cases on Monday.
A total of 20 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized at Wyoming facilities over the weekend — the most since mid-April — before dropping to 19 on Monday, according to state data.
Only one of those patients was in the Big Horn Basin, at Hot Springs Memorial Hospital in Thermopolis. Billin said Wednesday that a Cody resident had also been admitted to a hospital in Billings; a different Cody resident who had been hospitalized in Billings last month has apparently been discharged.
Wyoming has recorded 27 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The Department of Health announced Monday that an older Fremont County woman with underlying health conditions was the latest to die from the disease.
“The vast majority of people [infected with COVID-19] will either be unaffected or recover uneventfully,” Billin said last week. “However, it can be deadly for those in nursing homes, older, or with underlying medical problems.”
In a Friday Facebook post explaining how Park County Public Health conducts contact tracing, Billin mentioned that a July 19 political event at a Cody restaurant “has become the single largest exposure and cluster of COVID-19 cases to date in Park County.”
It’s the only local gathering for which health officials made a public announcement about potential exposures, with Billin taking to Facebook to ask attendees to monitor their symptoms.
“This was because the individuals contacted declined to provide information for contact tracing and this was the only alternative,” Billin explained in his Friday post.
He noted that health officials never named any individuals or the business — though the description of an afternoon political event at a Cody restaurant left little doubt as to which event was being referenced.
The gathering at Gasthaus Cardi was a meet and greet for four Republican candidates for the Wyoming Legislature: Nina Webber, Tim French, Rachel Rodriguez-Williams and state Rep. Dan Laursen. Dozens of people attended the event, held on the restaurant’s patio. Five staffers at the restaurant later tested positive for COVID-19, Billin has said, along with multiple attendees. Rodriguez-Williams, who’s running unopposed for House District 50, announced last week that she had been infected with COVID-19, forcing her to temporarily pause in-person events and miss a pair of forums in Powell and Cody.
French announced he was taking extra precautions before testing negative.
“Some were trying to make an issue of it, and they were completely wrong, out of line, trying to make a political issue out of it,” he said at a Wednesday candidate forum in Cody. French didn’t elaborate on which people he was referring to.
Meanwhile, Rep. Laursen reiterated his belief that the pandemic is political, suggesting at the Cody forum that the crisis could end following this fall’s presidential election.
Responding to a question about where he sees Park County in five years, he said that, “hopefully in less than a couple months, we can get over the COVID issue, and it could happen on Nov. 4, who knows?”
“That might be something that people are saying and I kind of agree with them,” said Laursen, who supports Republican President Donald Trump. “We’ve been led, I think, down a path where they may be attacking our president with stuff like that.”
On the sidelines of a “Reopen Wyoming” rally in April, Laursen had said the COVID-19 shutdown was “definitely what the liberals want … bigger government” and said he thought Democrats were “in on it.”