Over the weekend the number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wyoming surpassed 2,000.
That’s the report from Governor Mark Gordon, who held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the state’s response to the pandemic. Gordon announced that all current statewide orders have been extended until August 15. There is still no statewide mask mandate in Wyoming.
Gordon said there are now 2,136 lab-confirmed cases statewide, with an additional 453 probable cases. The numbers, he said, are moving up aggressively. There have been 1,615 recoveries of lab-confirmed patients so far, leaving 521 active cases in the state. The statewide death total stands at 26, with one death reported today in Uinta County.
In Campbell County there have been three new lab-confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed cases to 89. There are 22 additional probable cases. There have been 76 recoveries of lab-confirmed patients and 15 additional recoveries of probable cases, bringing the total number of recoveries in the county to 91. There has been one death.
“We’re seeing the highest growth of positive cases in the 19-29 age group,” Gordon said.
Not all the news from Gordon was bad, however. Wyoming has a 2.8% rate of positivity, which compares very favorably to the 9% figure nationally. Only Alaska has reported fewer COVID-related deaths than Wyoming.
This statistic has led other governors like Arizona’s Doug Ducey to seek to close bars again, something Gordon has resisted doing.
Gordon said that, of the 1.25 billion dollars of CARES relief money the state received, a significant portion has already gone out, including 51 million to K-12 schools to support reopening. Of that figure, 42 million is earmarked for distance learning, and the other $9 million for personal protective equipment and cleaning and sterilization. Nearly $300 million has been set aside to support business needs, with $26 million earmarked for the University of Wyoming to help with the school’s reopening.
In terms of the state’s budget, Gordon said the latest figures are an improvement from the 1.5-billion-dollar shortfall reported in May. However, the state is still $759 million short of the revenue needed to function at full capacity.
“The numbers have improved, but we still face significant challenges,” Gordon said. “We’re not relaxing. We’re still looking at a 20% reduction in state expenditures. We are approaching an absolutely critical time in the state’s economy.”