Coronavirus cases to 389; Legislature drafts special session bills

The above graph, provided by the Wyoming News Exchange, shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Wyoming by date.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming increased by 40 since Friday, with 32 of the new cases coming from Fremont County.

The Wyoming Department of Health, in its daily coronavirus update, reported the state had 389 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday afternoon. The count stood at 349 on Friday.

Fremont County officials had announced last week that an increase in testing and “contact tracing,” a process by which health officials determine who may have come in contact with an infected individual, the county’s confirmed case counts would increase dramatically.

As of Monday afternoon, Fremont County had 98 cases; Laramie County had 89 cases; Teton County had 64; Natrona County had 39; Campbell County had 14; Sheridan County had 12; Johnson and Converse had 11; Sweetwater had 10; Albany had seven; Lincoln and Uinta had six; Crook and Washakie had five; Carbon had four and Goshen had three. Big Horn, Hot Springs, Niobrara, Park and Sublette counties had one count each.

No cases have been detected in Platte or Weston counties.

The number of laboratory-confirmed and “probable” recoveries also went up by 22 over the weekend. The Department of Health on Sunday set the number of recoveries at 343 — including 249 laboratory-confirmed recoveries and 94 “probable” recoveries.

Meanwhile, Wyoming’s legislators have started drafting two measures for consideration during a special session that would let the state respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Legislature’s Management Council is expected to vote on the bills when it meets again Friday.

If approved, the bills will be submitted for consideration by the full Legislature when it meets in a special session, perhaps as soon as late May.

One bill would establish a relief fund for the partial distribution of $1.25 billion Wyoming is to receive from the federal government. Appropriations would include $70 million for local governments $200 million for public hospitals.

The second bill would address issues raised by Gov. Mark Gordon earlier this month, including allowing the Wyoming Community Development Authority to compensate landlords who hold off on evicting tenants who have not paid their rent due to coronavirus-related pay losses.

The bill would also expand the state workers’ compensation program to allow workers infected with coronavirus to receive assistance.

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