Wyoming’s coronavirus case count grew to 56 on Thursday, but reports from two county health agencies indicated some of those patients have already recovered.
The number of cases grew by seven by Thursday evening, with new cases detected in Johnson, Laramie, Hot Springs and Teton counties.
The single cases reported in Johnson and Hot Springs counties were the counties’ first. Laramie County’s case count went up by three on Thursday and Teton County’s increased by two.
However, the state Health Department announced on Thursday that 17 of the state’s coronavirus patients had recovered.
Information on where those recoveries occurred was not available from the Health Department. However, Albany County health officials reported that the one coronavirus patient identified in the county had already recovered from the illness after self-isolation.
In Sheridan County, health officials reported all four of the people diagnosed with the illness have recovered.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Laramie County had the state’s highest number of coronavirus cases at 15, while Fremont County had 14. Teton County had eight cases, Natrona County had six, Sheridan County had four, and Carbon County had three. Albany, Campbell, Johnson, Hot Springs, Park and Sweetwater counties each reported one case.
State officials have advised Wyoming residents repeatedly that the number of cases in the state would increase as more coronavirus testing is completed. As of 5 p.m., more than 1,100 tests had been completed, 865 at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory and 239 by private commercial laboratories.
In other developments:
Food assistance: First lady Jennie Gordon announced during her husband’s news conference Wednesday that Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies would be taking mobile food pantries around the state to distribute food where needed. The first lady said the pantries will begin traveling the state on March 31.
Park closures: The National Park Service on Wednesday ordered the closure of Devils Tower National Monument in response to requests from health officers in Crook County.
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers and partners is our number one priority,” the Park Service said in a news release.
The closure came one day after the Park Service closed Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
Unemployment: Robin Cooley, director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, said her office has added 15 people to its unemployment claims processing division to get through the increased number of requests for claims being submitted to the state. She added the average Wyoming resident should receive unemployment benefits within two days of filing a claim.
Teton Science School: The Teton Science School announced it would suspend all residential programming until Aug. 15, lay off 26 field instructors who work for part of the year, and furlough 16 other people who work in field education and administration.
“Our outdoor classroom has been essential to our mission for over 50 years, and we look forward to when groups again travel to the Tetons for learning,” said Chris Agnew, the school’s executive director.
Keep on reading: The Natrona County Library on Wednesday announced it has donated more than 5,000 books to homebound students and another 400 large-print books to Natrona County Meals on Wheels to be given to senior citizens.
State parks open: The State Parks and Cultural Resources Division reminded residents that while some national parks are closing, state parks remain open.
“With plenty of wide open spaces, individuals and families can explore on their own or establish a safe distance between themselves and others,” the division said in a news release. “The benefit of fresh Wyoming air is an added bonus.”
Ventilator help: A Cody High School graduate who now leads a business consulting firm in Ukraine purchased four ventilators for Cody Regional Health. The purchase of the four units at a total cost of almost $50,000 gives the hospital 12 of the machines.
Business assistance: The Sundance Chamber of Commerce has launched a donation drive aimed at supporting local businesses and essential personnel.
The chamber is seeking donations from the community to purchase gift cards from local businesses. Those cards will then be given to medical and essential personnel as thanks for their hard work.