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As we are all aware, Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has been detected in all 50 States, including Wyoming, which is currently reporting three confirmed cases.
COVID-19 is a new coronavirus disease that has not previously been seen in humans. Much is still unknown, but scientists and health care professionals are working hard to provide us with more information. Information and recommendations are changing rapidly, in some cases within a matter of hours.
Most people who contract the disease are at low-risk of having serious symptoms. Women, children, and men under the age of 50 are the lowest-risk populations. The risks rise for men over the age of 50, and especially if they have additional underlying health conditions. The highest impacted populations are the elderly and people with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, renal disorders, and some auto-immune disorders. Fortunately, we live in a country with advanced healthcare facilities and providers; therefore, those who do contract the virus will most likely fully recover.
In an effort to help keep our citizens apprised of what is happening in our community, along with recommendations to help keep everyone healthy, we have a website dedicated to providing regular and timely updates. In addition to providing updates, the website includes information for individuals and families; businesses and workplaces; schools and childcare facilities; community and faith-based organizations, as well as information regarding community events and mass gatherings. The website can be accessed at www.ccgov.net/COVID19.
The following is some basic advice for how to help keep yourself and others healthy, and to prevent the spread of the virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Social distancing is an infection control action intended to slow down or stop the spread of a contagious disease. The Centers for Disease control describes social distancing as remaining out of crowded public places, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. Social distancing may be recommended to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Common gathering places, such as schools, movie theaters, sports events and religious services, may be canceled.
Social distancing does not mean isolation or being quarantined. Healthy people need to make trips to the grocery store to buy food, or the hardware store to fix household items. In these cases, the six-foot rule can be used to distance yourself from someone who might be sick. On the other hand, there are circumstances where we should stay home and use social distancing to avoid large groups where we might be exposed to someone who is ill. Social distancing can help protect you and your loved ones, especially if they are over the age of 60 and susceptible to diseases like COVID-19.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person, and is indiscriminate of race, ethnicity, or sex. The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Wyomingites. Still, as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Eighty-percent of the population who contracts the disease will experience mild to moderate symptoms and will fully-recover.
Early information shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes: