Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Today, Tuesday, March 3, 2020 the Casper-Natrona County Health Department became aware of new information surrounding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) circling within our community.  The Casper-Natrona County Health Department would like to update and educate the public on these developments in an effort to prepare our community and prevent the spread of misinformation. 

At this time, Wyoming, Natrona County and Casper still have had no reported cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) is still reporting that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from China and other areas of outbreak, but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.  COVID-19 is thought to spread person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another, through coughing or sneezing by means of respiratory droplets.  Thanks to great prevention efforts, medical technology and sophisticated care, the US has been able to keep the virus under control at this point in time.

The Casper-Natrona County Health Department has become increasingly aware of scamming operations that are preying on the community’s fear and misinformation surrounding COVID-19.  As of today, March 3, 2020, we have heard of scammers calling homes, faxing businesses and using other means of communication to contact the public.  These scammers are stating that in order to protect vulnerable populations (children, elderly or immunocompromised) or general households they need to take the calling party’s recommended actions.  These are scams and should be ignored.  There are no additional requirements or recommendations aside from general prevention recommended by the CDC during normal influenza season and during COVID-19.

The Casper-Natrona County Health Department would also like to remind the community that wearing a mask should only be used as a precautionary/additional measure if you are already ill.  These masks simply keep the person who is ill’s germs away from others.  Masks do not need to be worn by those who are not ill and are NOT a form of protection from illnesses such as seasonal influenza or COVID-19.

The most effective means of prevention, as with many viruses including influenza, is to maintain standard precautions that help reduce risk of transmission.  This includes:

  • Avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and  mouth
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and throw away in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning solutions
  • Frequent and adequate hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after bathroom use, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • *If soap is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if visibly dirty.

National, state and local health officials are continuing to monitor this situation and will be providing updates to the community as necessary.  Should a need arise, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department and its partners are fully prepared to protect the community.  If you have any questions surrounding COVID-19, risks, potential illness, or need other information, please reach out to the Casper-Natrona County Health Department at 307-235-9340.  For the most current and up to date information on COVID-19 please refer to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.