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CDC Team Deployed to Wyoming to Supplement Existing Efforts

A CDC graphic of the COVID-19 virus via MGN.
A CDC graphic of the COVID-19 virus via MGN.(KOLO)
Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 2:39 PM CDT
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A "Community Protection Initiative" team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in Wyoming. In a release sent to news outlets, the Wyoming Department of Health said the team is on the ground with the goal of supplementing the State's efforts to combat Covid-19.

State Health Officer and Epidemiologist with the WDH Dr. Alexia Harrist said she asked the CDC team to come to Wyoming and work with her staff to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease.

“The CDC indicated an interest in directing some of their staff toward protecting areas with relatively low levels of COVID-19 infections,” Dr. Harrist aid. “The idea is to help maintain lower levels of illness in locations that haven’t yet been overcome as in other areas of the country.”

Approximately five CDC team members will support WDH through added efforts involving:

• Data systems and data analysis

• Prevention, infection control and containment of infections in long-term care facilities and psychiatric facilities

• Community mitigation and infection prevention and control among tribal communities

• Case identification and contact tracing

According to Harrist, she and her team are working with local health partners to use contact tracing in order to determine how the virus is spreading amongst Wyomingites.

“We feel it’s been a helpful technique and one that our lower population has so far allowed to continue,” she said.

Clay Van Houten, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit manager with WDH, said “Contact tracing involves following up to identify the close contacts of our laboratory-confirmed and probable cases to see who might also be at an increased risk of the illness. We offer advice to these people and use quarantine and isolation orders to help protect communities from further spread.”

For more information about COVID-19 from WDH, visit: https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.

To learn more about State of Wyoming COVID-19 resources and response efforts, visit: https://covid19.wyo.gov/.

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