The deaths of two Wyoming residents in March and April have been retrospectively added to Wyoming’s total count of COVID-19 related deaths, according to a May 18 release from the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
Both deaths occurred in Colorado and were reported very recently to Wyoming’s Vital Statistics Services Office, a part of WDH, including an older woman from Carbon County, who died in April and had existing conditions that put her at higher risk of serious illness related to the virus, as well as a Laramie County man who died in March. It’s unclear whether the older man had higher risk-related conditions.
“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,” said Guy Beaudoin, deputy state registrar with WDH, who added that WDH has instructed medical certifiers such as attending physicians and coroners that COVID-19 should only be reported on death certificates when the disease caused or contributed to a person’s death.
Beaudoin also noted it is not unexpected to experience delays in receiving information from other states.
“Within Wyoming, we are working closely with hospitals and coroners and are able to receive information much more quickly,” he said.
As of Monday evening at 4:30 p.m., there are now 10 deaths, 577 lab-confirmed cases and 189 probable cases reported for Wyoming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Mark Gordon issued a statement Monday afternoon on the three additional COVID-19 related deaths in Wyoming, including the death a Northern Arapaho woman that occurred over the weekend, marking the tribe’s fifth death.
“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,” Gordon said. “My thoughts are with each of these individual’s families.”
The Governor also encouraged citizens to continue to practice common sense, social distancing and increased sanitation and hygiene.
“I want to urge all Wyoming residents to continue taking the necessary steps to minimize the spread of this virus,” he said.