Coronavirus testing

St. John’s Health nurses Britt Krull, right, and Emily McGinty wait outside the COVID-19 testing tent at St. John’s Health for patients to drive up with an appointment for testing. The hospital reported that it had zero patients being treated for COVID-19 in the hospital as of Friday.

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Wyoming's novel coronavirus deaths increased again today.

Two residents who died in Colorado in March and April were added to the tally after their deaths were recently reported to the state's Vital Statistics Services Office. Their deaths bring the state's death toll to 10, the Wyoming Department of Health reported.

Both were residents of southern Wyoming. A Carbon County woman who had conditions that made her high risk died in April, while an older Laramie County man died in March.

“When Wyoming residents pass away in another state from a disease such as COVID-19, it is a widely accepted practice to track those deaths based on the location of the person’s permanent residence,” Guy Beaudoin, deputy state registrar at the Health Department, said in a press release.

However, that reporting process can take longer than if the people had died in state.

“Within Wyoming, we are working closely with hospitals and coroners and are able to receive information much more quickly,” Beaudoin said.

Wyoming has 577 lab-confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and another 189 probable cases. Teton County has 100 cases, including probable ones, with 91 recovered and one death.

Following the announcement of the deaths, Gov. Mark Gordon issued a statement on them and a fifth Fremont County death that was reported Saturday night.

“The recent death of a member of the Northern Arapaho tribe and the two additional deaths that occurred in March and April are sad reminders of the serious, ongoing impact of COVID-19. My thoughts are with each of these individuals’ families," he said. "I want to urge all Wyoming residents to continue taking the necessary steps to minimize the spread of this virus.”

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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