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Department of Health advises public of possible exposure during services last weekend

WORLAND — Father Robert Rodgers of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Worland announced on Facebook, confirming information “through the grapevine” that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, July 6.

Rodgers was Washakie County’s 35th COVID-19 case and the first case in just over a month.

He said all Masses and other parish functions are cancelled through Sunday, July 12th and the church is actually locked at this time.

In a video on the church’s Facebook Page, Rodgers said, “ I hate to even lock the church doors, which we are doing through the weekend, until we get a better understanding if or how it might have spread in our local community” adding that he feels this is the most prudent cautions they can take.

The church also posted a notice from the Washakie County Public Health Department which states, “If you attended any of the following events at St. Mary Magdalen Church between July 2-4, 2020, the Wyoming Department of Health believes you may have had a potential exposure to COVID-19. The events are:

7/2 Funeral @ St. Mary Magdalen Church, reception at Sanders park following

7/3 Morning Mass @ St. Mary Magdalen

7/3 Hour of Prayer @ St. Mary Magdalen

7/4 Saturday masses (2) @ St. Mary Magdalen

Please monitor yourself for fever, cough, or other symptoms until 14 days after your last exposure (July 16-July 18, 2020). Please stay home if you become ill, except to seek medical attention. Please call your provider if you need medical attention.”

For more information on what to do about possible exposure or if you are sick see information from the Wyoming Department of Health” or at the Northern Wyoming News website at

Please call Washakie County Public Health at 347-3278 or email [email protected] with any questions.”

Rodgers said he felt slight aches on Saturday but no fever. He did not hold services on Sunday. On Monday he said he had lost his sense of smell, a distinctive sign of COVID-19, and he noted that his “coffee tasted like mud.”

He said in his Facebook video, dated July 8, that his symptoms are improving.

Rodgers hopes to resume services next weekend.

Washakie County Public Health does not have additional information at this time about the Worland couple who tested positive on Tuesday (reported early Wednesday morning). The couple were hospitalized together.

According to the WDH, Washakie Medical Center shows to COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Thursday, July 9.

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