CHEYENNE– A large and diverse group of volunteers, formed within only the past 10 days, has begun working intensively to confront the Coronavirus challenge that looms in this state.
The goals of the Wyoming Technology Coronavirus Coalition (WTCC) are to coordinate high-impact technological efforts to assist the state in confronting its looming COVID-19 crisis.
The Coalition was founded on March 17. Immediate and wide-ranging discussions by the new WTCC team followed over the next four days, as the number of cases in Wyoming grew rapidly to 28, with the largest number (10) in Fremont County.
Public health experts are projecting that as the pandemic spreads within the thinly populated state, some 5,000 hospital beds may be required by mid-May – more than four times the number currently available in Wyoming.
WTCC’s mission is to leverage technology to identify gaps, encourage collaboration, and facilitate quick and effective solutions in Wyoming communities affected by COVID-19 to meet these challenges.
Numerous projects are being considered on a member discussion board using the Slack instant messaging platform. Within a day of creation of the WTCC discussion board, Slack.com donated $800 to support the volunteer effort.
Active projects include:
- 3D printing 100 surgical masks for Cheyenne Regional Medical Center by Monday March 30 upon approval and inspection;
- Development of the Stitches Acute Care Center mobile app for Android and iOS to initiate Telemedicine visits at their clinics;
- Contributing to an existing mobile-accessible web application that allows people to send tips directly to social service industry workers from their home computers which is now live at (https://serviceindustry.tips/en/wy/);
- Coordinating medical supply drives across the state to supplement the diminishing supplies available to Wyoming healthcare workers, starting with a drive scheduled for Wednesday, April 1st, on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie. See the WTCC website (www.wytechcc.com) for details; and developing a GIS (geographic information system) map with up-to-date information on the number of active COVID-19 cases per county, hospital bed utilization data, and a regional social vulnerability index.
These and scores of other ideas are under consideration and planning by a diversely skilled leadership team. The University of Wyoming, in particular, is providing lots of resources and have taken on leadership roles in many areas.
“The real purpose of this coalition is to bring together the ideas and challenges that COVID-19 brings to our state and unite them with the technology-savvy community, whether that’s established businesses or individuals. The idea is not to duplicate work efforts and solutions, but to use the power of our collective minds to share ideas, initiatives, and resources.”— Eric Trowbridge (ET), CEO of Array, Inc.
Array is Wyoming’s first dedicated technology and design school based in downtown Cheyenne.
Wyoming residents with technological, medical, or organizational expertise are preferred to join, but anyone can request to be a part of the group. Donations may be contributed via the WTCC website. Contact information and news about COVID-19 in Wyoming, as well as updates on activities of the Wyoming Technology Coronavirus Coalition, are available at www.wytechcc.com.
The Wyoming Technology Coronavirus Coalition aims to build and maintain an integrated community of volunteers working to fight COVID-19 for Wyoming through the use of technology and teamwork.