4 deaths COVID deaths are Northern Arapaho Tribe members
April 16, 2020
Four Deaths Added to Wyoming’s Coronavirus-Related Count
Four Fremont County residents, all previously identified as laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, have died, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
The newly confirmed deaths include an older man, older woman, adult woman and adult man. Each had been hospitalized. Two of the four had existing conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness related to the virus. There have been 320 confirmed and 116 probable cases reported so far from across Wyoming.
“These announcements are difficult to make,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH.
“We’ve talked a lot about who has the highest risk of hospitalization and death related to this disease and that is important information,” she said. “But the truth is anyone can get sick with COVID-19, anyone has a chance of a serious illness and anyone who is infected can pass COVID-19 on to others.”
In a press conference today, Northern Arapaho Tribe Chairman Leo Spoonhunter said the four deaths were from the tribe. He said two were "precious elders" who had reached the fourth ridge of their lives. "When reaching this ridge, in our Arapaho belief, Creator takes us immediately back into his loving arms, therefore we take solace and comfort in that," he said. "However, this does not discount the tremendous losses to our tribe."
WDH recommendations to help slow the spread of illness include:
• Follow current public health orders, which encourage staying home much as possible.
• Stay home when sick and avoid contact with other people unless you need medical attention.
• Follow common-sense steps such as washing your hands often and well; covering your coughs and sneezes; and cleaning and disinfecting.
• Wear cloth face coverings in public setting where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Symptoms reported with COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
For more information about COVID-19 from WDH, visit: https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.