EVANSTON — Uinta County has remained Wyoming’s COVID-19 hot spot in recent days, continuing to have the state’s highest number of new confirmed cases, even as case numbers level off or decline in other counties.
Uinta County Public Health Nurse Manager Kim Proffit said there were 78 total confirmed cases at press time on Monday, with 13 of those listed as recovered. There were an additional eight probable cases. The total confirmed case count has gone up by 30 cases since the afternoon of Thursday, June 11.
The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) reports that, as of Sunday, June 14, there were 841 lab-confirmed cases in the state with another 219 probable. Of those, 834 have recovered. There have been 18 deaths in Wyoming related to COVID-19.
Uinta County’s rate of confirmed infection of 321 per 100,000 residents is now second only to Fremont County’s 698 per 100,000 residents. According to WDH, Fremont County has had 274 confirmed cases with another 31 probable, far surpassing any other county.
Laramie County, with 128 confirmed and 67 probable; Teton County, with 74 confirmed and 31 probable; and Natrona County, with 73 confirmed and 14 probable, along with Fremont, are now the only counties with case counts greater than or similar to Uinta County. However, none of those counties have had a recent dramatic increase similar to what has happened in Uinta County and Evanston in particular.
Proffit said last week that several of the new cases in Uinta County, which are clustered in Evanston, were in young adults. In fact, in Wyoming the young adult age group from 19-29 accounts for the highest percentage of infections, at approximately 20%. Roughly 16% of cases have occurred in those aged 40-49, with roughly 15% in those aged 30-39, 14% in those under 18, 13% in those 50-59, 12% in the 60-69 age group, 5% in those 70-79 and only 3% in those over 80 years of age.
According to WDH, about half of all cases in Wyoming have resulted from contact with a known case. Statewide, about 11% of all cases have resulted in hospitalization. As yet, none of the Uinta County cases have required hospitalization, although Proffit has indicated several of the cases seem to be experiencing more severe illness than previous cases, and public health officials have been working with Evanston Regional Hospital to prepare for hospitalized patients.
The symptoms most commonly reported by those sickened by the novel coronavirus in Wyoming include cough, reported by about 55% of individuals; headache and muscle aches, reported by about 45%; fever, reported by 46%; runny nose; chills; shortness of breath and sore throat. However, some have also reported fatigue, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of smell or taste, which has been reported by about 20% of individuals. About 14% of those with confirmed infection in Wyoming have reported no symptoms at all.
Even as restrictions on event sizes and public gatherings continue to ease, public health officials urge county residents to continue to abide by social distancing recommendations and utilize cloth face coverings in public for everyone over the age of 2. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states, “Cloth face coverings are not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others,” especially during the pre-symptomatic phase when individuals may be contagious but are not yet having symptoms.