Feds and National Guard to Assist with COVID-19 Response, 21 More Dead

Campbell County Memorial Hospital
Campbell County Memorial Hospital (file photo)

As COVID-19 related hospitalizations continue to grow in Wyoming, Governor Mark Gordon today announced a “three-pronged approach to provide additional support to Wyoming medical facilities.”

Under the plan, Wyoming will receive support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Wyoming National Guard (WNG), and through a previously announced program to bring in temporary medical personnel.

Many Wyoming hospitals have expanded their capacity to handle the influx of COVID-19 patients and several hospitals are at capacity for ICU beds.

In today’s announcement Gordon indicated that two Health and Medical Task Force (HMTF) teams from HHS’s National Disaster Medical System will be deployed to Wyoming, with one deploying to Campbell County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) in Gillette and one being sent to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC). Both teams are comprised of 15 members and include physicians and nurses to assist the two hospitals. HMTF teams will support the two hospitals for 14 days. The hospitals were selected because of their immediate needs.

The WNG will deploy 10 guard members to CRMC for 30 days. Guard members will augment hospital staff by assisting with activities like delivering meals in order to free up medical personnel.

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“Our Guardsmen are poised to assist when the state is in a time of increased need,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Porter, adjutant general for the Wyoming National Guard. “Our soldiers and airmen are always ready to aid our neighbors and affected communities and partner with other agencies.”

Gordon’s third prong is the traveling medical staff program being done in conjunction with the Wyoming Hospital Association (County 17, Nov. 11). This program will utilize up to $10 million of CARES Act funding to bring in medical personnel from other states to assist Wyoming’s overwhelmed and exhausted medical staff.

“Consistently we have been informed by hospitals that availability of medical personnel, specifically nurses, is their largest concern,” said Dirk Dijkstal, Health Readiness and Response Section chief with the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

Per the release, as many as 50 medical professionals from outside Wyoming are expected to be in local hospitals across the state by end of week.

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“I want to thank President Trump and his administration for providing much-needed resources to Wyoming to deal with the serious strain COVID-19 has put on our healthcare system,” Gordon said. “We have had to call upon resources from outside the state to help deal with this surge in hospitalizations. Many thanks to the National Guard for answering our call to help in our hospitals. I also want to express my deepest gratitude to our frontline healthcare workers. Help is on the way.”

21 more deaths

WDH announced 21 more coronavirus-related deaths of Wyoming citizens today, bringing the total coronavirus-related deaths to 176. Those who died were from Albany (1), Big Horn (1), Carbon (1), Fremont (3), Laramie (3), Natrona (9), Sheridan (1), and Sweetwater (2) counties. 18 of the deaths were identified as older adults with three identified as adults.

COVID-19 numbers today

According to the WDH COVID-19 dashboard, Wyoming currently has 22,489 total lab confirmed cases, with 9,672 active cases. Wyoming has recorded 12,817 recovered cases and 176 deaths. There are another 3,680 probable cases, with 2,087 probable case recoveries.

Campbell County now stands at 2,213 lab confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,266 active cases. There are 947 recovered cases in Campbell County and there have been seven COVID-19 related deaths in the county. The county also has 206 probable cases and has had 78 recovered probable cases.