Public Health Officer Makes Plea as Sweetwater County Sees Record 25 COVID-19 Positive Cases in 1 Day

Public Health Officer Makes Plea as Sweetwater County Sees Record 25 COVID-19 Positive Cases in 1 Day

SWEETWATER COUNTY — As the number of Sweetwater County COVID-19 Coronavirus cases in the county continues to increase, so does the concern for Sweetwater County Public Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon.

According to Stachon, Sweetwater County is at the precipice when it comes to the virus and she is “beyond concerned” at this point.

“Our numbers are dramatically increasing,” Dr. Stachon said. “It won’t take much to topple us over.”

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On Wednesday, Sweetwater County reported 25 COVID-19 confirmed positive cases. That is the highest number of one-day cases reported in the county since the pandemic began.

Stachon isn’t the only Sweetwater County health official concerned with the increase in COVID-19 cases. The Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County sent out a press release Wednesday, October 28, stating the previous 14 days positive testing average showed a 7.4 percent positivity rate of those who tested positive at MHSC.

That number is well above totals of less than 2 percent the hospital maintained through September, landing at 1.6 percent on October 1.

The recent seven-day rolling positivity-rate totals are even higher, with about 9 percent of the those who tested at MHSC confirmed positive for COVID-19.

In the last 10 days, Sweetwater County has seen an increase of 100 COVID-19 positive cases.

“I am pleading with the community to do their part,” Stachon said.

She said residents must remain vigilant and continue to wear masks, practice proper social distancing of at least six feet, and continue to washing their hands frequently.

Stachon said those who are currently testing positive in Sweetwater County are in their 40s, 50s, or 60s. Even though the MHSC only has one COVID-19 related hospitalization at this time, it only has nine Intensive Care Unit Beds, two of them are already occupied at this time.

“We’re going to start seeing hospitalizations in a couple of weeks,” Stachon said.

With so many cases being reported daily, public health’s having a hard time trying to complete all of the contract tracing.

“It’s getting to the point where I don’t know if we can keep up with the volume,” Stachon said.

Stachon said if the community spread gets too bad it will get into the schools. Stachon said both school districts have gone above and beyond to limit the spread of the virus by requiring masks and it has been working. She said unfortunately most of the cases being reported in the schools have come from community spread with people gathering in small groups without wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

“I hope our community can do what it takes to keep them open,” Stachon said about the schools.

Mask Mandate

According to Dr. Stachon, the majority of public health agencies in the state have encouraged Governor Mark Gordon to issue a mask mandate to stop the spread of the virus before it’s out of control. They are waiting to see what Governor Gordon will do.

Other counties aren’t waiting for the governor to make that mandate and have already asked the state for permission to enforce one. Teton County already has a mask mandate in place and Laramie County is in the process of obtaining permission for a mask mandate.

Stachon said if Sweetwater County were going to seek a mask mandate they would need the support of the Sweetwater County Commissioners, and both the Rock Springs and Green River mayors.

She’s hoping it doesn’t have to come to that and is “begging our community” to take measures to stop the spread now.

“The time to wear these masks and do (preventative) measures is now,” Stachon said.


THE LATEST COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS NEWS & INFO FROM THE WYOMING DEPT. OF HEALTH

What to do if you feel sick: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms, please call your primary care provider or seek medical attention.

Please follow these tips to slow the spread of this virus:

  • Follow Public Health Orders
  • Practice social distancing of 6 feet or more.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings, especially when physical distancing of at least 6 feet isn’t available.
  • Stay home when sick and avoid other people unless you need medical attention.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Older people and those with health conditions that mean they have a higher chance of getting seriously ill should avoid close-contact situations.
  • Long-term care and healthcare facilities should follow guidelines for infection control and prevention.

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