The Wyoming Department of Health recently released updated guidance for Public Health professionals conducting investigations in K-12 schools. The new guidance allows for students to stay in school even if they were in close contact of a COVID-19 positive case as long as everyone involved was consistently wearing a face mask. If either the COVID-19 positive or the close contact were not wearing their mask, they will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.
“Masks are most effective when the whole community wears them,” said Public Health Nurse Manager Debra Haar. “We are happy the evidence has demonstrated this enough to reduce the amount of students who would need to quarantine following a close contact to a positive case.”
Public Health is currently working with Sheridan County schools to determine if any of the currently quarantined students can end their quarantine early and return to school given this new guidance.
To date, there has been no evidence of COVID-19 transmission at Sheridan County schools. Most Sheridan County cases are currently originating through close contact with a positive case within the community.
Monitoring the novel coronavirus in Sheridan County
Below is the current confirmed case count for Sheridan County residents. For the latest COVID-19 numbers visit www.sheridancounty.com/covid-19.
Laboratory confirmed cases
Total laboratory confirmed cases: 190
Active laboratory confirmed cases: 55
Recovered laboratory confirmed cases: 131
Total probable cases: 68
Active probable cases: 10
Currently hospitalized in Sheridan County (residents & nonresidents): 2
- Students quarantined during the first weeks of school have been able to return to school. To date, there is still no evidence of transmission inside the schools.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sheridan County Public Health staff have been in contact with over 563 residents who have been in close contact with, or live in the same household as someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. These individuals have not experienced symptoms of COVID-19, but they have been or are currently being monitored and quarantined (as necessary) to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.
- Currently Public Health has five full-time and four part-time staff members. These staff members communicate with all COVID-19 laboratory confirmed cases, probable cases, household or close contacts, as well as concerned citizens. During large exposure events, staff are spread thin. Sheridan County is currently in the process of hiring additional contact tracers to increase Public Health’s ability to respond quickly to COVID-19 once they are hired and trained.
COVID-19 Best Practices
The public is encouraged to follow these guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Wyoming Department of Health (WDH):
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with anyone outside of your household.
- Wear cloth face coverings when out in the public.
- Stay home if sick. (If you are concerned that the symptoms you are experiencing are outside of your normal everyday condition, please consult your physician.)
- Avoid gatherings of 50 or more people.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Please continue to be vigilant and practice all appropriate hygiene and distancing recommendations. Your hard work protects you, your family, and your community.