CHEYENNE – The deaths of 10 more Wyoming residents have been linked to the novel coronavirus, the Wyoming Department of Health announced Thursday.
The department said the seven women and three men died between late September and last week, bringing the state’s total number of deaths tied to the coronavirus to 87. Deaths in Wyoming are linked to COVID-19 if the illness is a direct cause or contributing factor in a fatality.
Three of the victims were Goshen County women who lived in long-term care facilities. The department said one woman died in late September, while the other two died earlier this month. The department did not specify whether the women lived in the same facility, but it did say all three women had health conditions known to increase the risk of complications from the coronavirus.
The department said other victims included:
• An Albany County woman who died late last month and had underlying health conditions;
• An older Converse County man who died earlier this month;
• An older Fremont County woman who died last week after being hospitalized in Wyoming and another state for treatment of the illness;
• An older Laramie County woman who died earlier this month, was a resident of a long-term care facility and had underlying health conditions;
• An older Natrona County man who died earlier this month and was a resident of a long-term care facility;
• A Natrona County man who died earlier this month after being hospitalized in Wyoming and another state for treatment of the illness, and
• An older Sheridan County woman who died earlier this month and had underlying health conditions.
The announcement came as daily Health Department figures showed the number of active coronavirus cases in the state exceeded 4,100 with the reporting of 301 new confirmed cases.
Health Department figures released with the daily coronavirus update showed the state now has 4,184 active cases of coronavirus, an increase of 220 from Wednesday.
The increase is due to the 301 new confirmed cases and 60 new probable cases reported Thursday, along with 131 new reports of recoveries among patients with both confirmed and probable cases.
Albany County had 684 active cases; Laramie County had 624; Campbell had 549; Natrona had 512; Fremont had 363; Park had 299; Sheridan had 259; Lincoln had 96; Sweetwater had 94; Platte had 89; Converse had 83; Uinta had 68; Carbon and Weston had 66; Goshen had 62; Big Horn had 61; Johnson had 52; Teton had 51; Crook had 42; Sublette had 23; Washakie had 19; Hot Springs had 12, and Niobrara had 10.
Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases, and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.
Every county in Wyoming except for Washakie reported new confirmed cases Thursday, with Campbell County seeing the biggest increase at 64. Laramie County had 50 new cases, and Sheridan County had 32.
The increases brought the total number of confirmed cases seen since the first coronavirus case was detected in Wyoming to 10,589. The number of probable cases increased by 60 on Thursday to total 1,918.
The 131 newly reported recoveries bring to 8,236 the number of people to recover from either confirmed or probable cases.
The rapid rise in cases seen in the last several weeks was putting a strain on Wyoming’s hospitals, which saw a record 109 patients receiving treatment for coronavirus as of Thursday.
According to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center reported an all-time high of COVID-19 hospitalizations Wednesday.
At CRMC, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was at 26 as of Thursday, according to data from the Wyoming Department of Health. Before October, CRMC had never reported a day with more than six COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Meanwhile, in Casper, Interim Wyoming Medical Center CEO Dr. J.J. Bleicher told the Casper Star-Tribune on Monday that he anticipates “exponential” growth in the number of patients being cared for at WMC. The hospital has made room for up to 70 COVID-19 patients and has doubled up single-person rooms elsewhere in the hospital to accommodate extra patients.
Casper’s hospital – the largest in the state – had 27 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday, nearly double the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized two weeks ago.
The remainder of the patients were being treated in 13 other hospitals.
Of the state’s 122 intensive care unit beds, 66 remain open, according to the Department of Health.