Level 2 Health Alert issued in Big Horn County
Potential exposure of student to COVID-19
March 12, 2020
BIG HORN COUNTY — At 11 p.m. Thursday night, Big Horn County Health Officer has issued a LEVEL 2 health alert.
The Big Horn County Public Health Officer Dr. David Fairbanks has been collaborating with Wyoming state and federal agencies to investigate a potential coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposure of a Big Horn County student or group of students from an extracurricular sporting event.
Fairbanks in his alert strongly advises against large public gatherings in Big Horn County. This should include all school extracurricular events. The Level 2 alert does not yet include public school attendance.
As stated above, we have one person who has been tested and results are pending.
Several have been recommended to stay at home voluntarily for 14 days following
potential travel related exposures. Several events have been cancelled to avoid unnecessary potential close contact exposures.
Included in the alert was Governor Mark Gordon’s address during a press conference Thursday evening. Gordon said, "Wyoming Homeland Security and Wyoming Department of Health are working to establish a unifying command center to further planning and response efforts. The Wyoming Department of Health and the State Health Officer have determined that at this point the risk of Wyoming residence remains low." The Governor adds, "We have to work together to ensure we…are focusing on public safety and slowing the spread in a proactive manner."
The Governor made the following recommendation regarding public gatherings: "With an overabundance of caution, and as a proactive measure to protect the residents of Wyoming, I am recommending that we consider carefully whether large community gatherings and events of over 250 persons should take place. I encourage anyone planning large events to contact their county health officers and work with their elected officials."
Superintendent Jillian Balow during the press conference commented on the status of Wyoming schools and the possibility of either closures or moving online. "We are giving guidance to school districts to explore all possibilities. The memo that will be released tomorrow (Friday) has different scenarios mapped out, and once again those decisions will be made locally."
Citizens are reminded to follow previously outlined health prevention and self-distancing practices.
COVID-19 COVID-19 is a family of viruses related to the common cold. It has been declared a global pandemic. The CDC reports that as of March 12, the number of confirmed and presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in the US has exceeded 1,600 across 42 states and Washington, D.C., and fatalities rose to 41, with most deaths involving residents in Washington state. There is only one confirmed case in Wyoming, a woman in Sheridan County.