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EVANSTON — Uinta County’s confirmed COVID-19 case numbers have more than doubled since the afternoon of Thursday, June 4, with five new cases confirmed that afternoon, another five new cases confirmed over the weekend and additional cases confirmed Monday morning.

Uinta County now has 22 confirmed cases and another three probable, with 12 listed as recovered by the Wyoming Department of Health.

Uinta County Public Health Nurse Manager Kim Proffit said the new cases were “kind of a slap in the face” because they came when local health officials were feeling fairly optimistic about the county’s numbers and the possibility that it could avoid some of the tremendous impacts COVID has had on other areas.

She said, however, that it won’t be surprising for the numbers to increase in coming days.

“We’re right at the point where sickness would be showing up after possible exposures over Memorial Day weekend,” she said. “Those that were exposed this week will probably show symptoms this coming weekend or next week, so I think it is likely that our case count will continue to grow.”

Although Wyoming and Uinta County have been urging and conducting increased COVID testing in recent weeks, the new cases this week cannot simply be attributed to increases in testing because, according to a release from Uinta County Public Health, there were actually far fewer tests conducted last week than the previous week, with total tests of approximately 90 down from 140 previously.

With the jump in new cases, Proffit said it’s currently “all hands on deck” for public health staff working on contact tracing to identify other people potentially exposed to those with confirmed infection and determine which other individuals need to be quarantined.

Proffit said all those deemed at risk for exposure will be contacted directly by public health staff.

“If you’re not contacted, then you’re not considered at risk for possible exposure during the contagious period,” she said.

Complicating matters is the fact that several of the new cases have the potential for large impacts in terms of numbers of other people exposed and the health status of those exposures.

Proffit said the large impact potential is due to multiple factors, including where the positive cases work, as well as household sizes and places visited or events people attended during the contagious period.

Wyoming Department of Health Public Information Officer Kim Deti confirmed that one of the positive cases is a new hire at the Wyoming State Hospital who tested positive after participating in orientation at WSH earlier in the week.

Contact Managing Editor Rebecca Huntington at 732-7078 or rebecca@jhnewsandguide.com.

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