SWEETWATER COUNTY– The Board of Sweetwater County Commissioners voted unanimously to close county buildings to the public, effective Wednesday, March 18 until further notice.
To decrease exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect both staff and county residents, the county is closing public access to buildings.
The following buildings will be closed to the public:
- Sweetwater County Courthouse, not including District Court (Green River)
- Sweetwater County Museum (Green River)
- Sweetwater County Services building (Green River)
- Sweetwater County Purchasing building (Rock Springs)
- Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Administration building (Rock Springs)
- Human and Health Services building, not including public health (Rock Springs)
- Sweetwater County Rock Springs and Green River Road and Bridge Shops
- Sweetwater County Vehicle Maintenance and Fire building (Rock Springs)
- Sweetwater County Detention Center- arrangements have been made to serve needs of public outside of the building
- Farson Community Center
The buildings that will remain open to the public include:
- Public Health at Health and Human Services building (Rock Springs)
District Court and Circuit Court will both remain open with limited public access. The Wyoming Supreme Court and the Wyoming Department of Health has set forth an action plan in which the courts are in a specific stage.
District Court Judge Richard Lavery said currently, the Sweetwater County courts are in the “standby stage”, which means COVID-19 is present in the state. If the virus emerges in Sweetwater County, the court will move to a different stage and further public access restrictions will take place.
The staff will still report to work. Any vulnerable staff will be dealt with on a case to case basis to figure out what works best for that employee and department.
Anyone in the public who needs to do business at a county building can call the specific department and that department will work with the public individually to figure out how best to tend to public needs.
All buildings have increased custodial care with custodial workers making the rounds throughout the day to ensure surfaces are cleaned and disinfected.
Commissioners Receive COVID-19 Update
Fremont County Cases
Kim Lionberger, Director of the Sweetwater County District Board of Health, Karla Roich, Public Health Response Coordinator, Judy Roderick, Emergency Management, and Dr. Jean Stachon, County Health Officer, provided the county commissioners with an update on COVID-19.
Lionberger said they are constantly in meetings and it seems the fluidity of the circumstances causes a change in recommendations nearly every five minutes.
Currently, there are 10 confirmed cases in Wyoming, 8 of which are in Fremont County.
Dr. Stachon said the cases are all connected and the first confirmed case took place in an assisted care living facility in Lander. However, they cannot figure out how that first person contracted the disease, as they had not left the area and had not been known to be in contact with someone with the virus.
“Lander is a hot spot,” Stachon said.
Many people travel to Fremont County for gambling purposes, and the county borders Sweetwater County, so proximity is a concern.
Lionberger said that yesterday, the State of Wyoming had 82 pending cases at the state lab. There were two high-priority cases, one mid-priority case, and the rest were low-priority.
There are currently two local providers collecting samples and sending them off to labs. Tests can only take place at the state lab in Cheyenne or through outside labs.
Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County and Cedars Health, both in Rock Springs, are the two providers collecting samples.
However, as there are only so many collections they can take, people must call ahead of time and explain their symptoms and exposure so the providers can rank their priority level.
MHSC has set up a 24/7 line for people to call if they are concerned they may have contracted the virus. That number is 307-522-8523.
Lionberger also addressed rumors that individuals in Sweetwater County have tested positive for coronavirus. She said this is true, but they have not tested positive for COVID-19, which is a specific strain of coronavirus and is the one sweeping the world in this global pandemic.
“Coronavirus is the common cold. It’s a type of coronavirus,” Dr. Stachon said.
Stachon said social distancing is the most important thing right now, as it helps prevent the spread.