COVID-19 cases climb

By: 
Alexis Barker

Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor

 

As positive COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Weston County, Newcastle Elementary School and Weston County School District No. 1 were forced to announce the cancellation of the Double AAces after-school program after a staff member received a positive test result for the disease. As of Friday, Oct. 3, Double AAces will remain canceled until at least Oct. 20. 

This isn’t the first time the school district has been impacted by the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus this school year. As the total of local cases reached 13 active with 33 confirmed and 11 probable, according to the Wyoming Department of Health, the schools plan to continue to operate as “normal” as possible while taking necessary precautions. 

“It is our intention to continue school with as little disruption as possible for students and staff members who are able to attend,” said Superintendent Brad LaCroix. 

Statewide, the number of COVID-19 cases recently surged, with total cases reaching 5,660 positive, 969 probable  and 53 deaths on Monday. A total of 175,670 tests have been performed statewide, with a positive rate of 3.2%. 

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Gov. Mark Gordon stated that Wyoming has seen “very serious deterioration” in the COVID situation and that both the number of new cases and the number of hospital admissions statewide are concerning. 

“A few weeks ago, our experience seemed to be going so well (that) vigilance seemed to slide a little bit. But now, we have seen some very serious deterioration in conditions. We are trending in the wrong direction, both in new cases and in hospitalization,” Gordon said. 

According to Gordon, school closures due to the number of COVID-19 cases are problematic economically and should remain on everyone’s radar. 

“Our economy cannot do well or return to normal until we have a better control on this virus,” Gordon said. “We have loosened our restrictions because we thought that people in Wyoming would do the right thing, and I continue to believe that they will. Because we don’t want to go backward, we don’t want to lose the high ground we have.” 

Both Gordon and LaCroix expressed the need for individuals to be responsible for their actions and do what is
possible to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

Lori Bickford, Weston County’s public health nurse, is again encouraging the public to remain vigilant while practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing. In cases where social distancing is not possible, Bickford emphasizes the need for masks to be worn to avoid contracting the disease, as well as to prevent being a contact in the case of a positive test result. 

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