COVID-19 identified in 12 Wyoming long-term care facilities since pandemic's start
Of the 12 outbreaks, seven have yet to be resolved by state health officials.
October 07, 2020
COVID-19 cases have been identified in a dozen Wyoming long-term care facilities since the pandemic began, the state Health Department reported Tuesday. Of those, seven are considered active situations.
Department spokesperson Kim Deti via email Tuesday listed 12 facilities where cases were confirmed since the coronavirus emerged in Wyoming. Deti said those facilities where outbreaks are still considered active may not mean cases are still widespread at the facility but that rounds of follow-up testing are still ongoing.
The news comes as State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist announced Monday that indoor visitation will now be allowed at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
“It is my hope that some comfort can be available for the residents, staff and families who have been so unfairly affected by the need to protect them from COVID-19,” Harrist said in a press briefing Monday.
For facilities to begin indoor visitation, there must not have been new COVID-19 cases within the last 14 days, according to guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The state is operating off of those recommendations, according to instructions for those facilities signed by Harrist Thursday.
Large outbreaks at Goshen and Natrona county facilities have infected 24 and 22 people, respectively.
At Goshen Healthcare Community, a Torrington nursing home, 15 residents and nine staff members have contracted the virus. It’s unclear where the outbreak originated. A call to Goshen County Public Health was not returned Tuesday before press deadlines.
In Natrona County, 22 people at the Elkhorn Valley Rehabilitation Center — nine patients and 13 staff members — have contracted the virus.
Not all cases reported are necessarily still active, Deti said.
Health officials shared news of the Natrona County outbreak in early September, initially reporting 14 cases at the facility. Prior to the outbreak at Elkhorn, the facility had been offered mass testing but refused, state and local health officials told the Star-Tribune at the time.