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Laramie County sees coronavirus spike, worrying health officials

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Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 12:15 AM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - More than 250 active cases in Laramie County are being reported as of Monday, October 12th. After a relatively quiet summer, Laramie County suddenly has nearly 15% of all active cases in the state. While Laramie County’s surge is coinciding with other surges across Wyoming, Laramie County was not always so heavy on the virus.

“It’s kind of devastating, to be really honest” said Kathy Emmons, the executive director for Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department, “Because I said we were so proud of Laramie County.”

Emmons' pride was in Laramie County’s relatively low coronavirus numbers over the course of the pandemic. she says people were following health orders and suggestions, and were wearing masks and social distancing. But then, over the course of a few days, the county recorded more cases than the last two weeks combined. Emmons says three weeks ago the county saw 38 cases in a week. Two weeks ago, she says, the county saw 54. Then last week the county recorded 132 over 4 days. Most of the cases involve 19-29 year olds.

The spike is scary to health officials.

“It scares me when I’m seeing a 230-240% increase.” Emmons says, “Some people become incredibly ill with coronavirus and I don’t think that we have taken that as seriously as we should have.”

However, Emmons says she’s not trying to scare people when she talks about big spikes like this. she says it doesn’t do the department any good. But she does say that the cause is most likely people letting their guard down.

“The thing we can point to the most," she says, “Is people are just getting lackadaisical. They’re tired of covid-19, tired of social distancing, tired of masks. They want it to be over, and so do we.”

Emmons does say, however that making a difference in trying to slow down the virus is easy.

“It’s social distancing, It’s masks or face coverings... it’s not going to school or work when you’re sick." she explains, "Stay home, take care of yourself. That will get us through this.”

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