Teton County reduced its COVID status to orange (moderate) last Friday. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

JACKSON, Wyo. — Friday, at the 19th local meeting in Jackson since COVID-19 first came to the county, health officials said the numbers looked a little better than they did a few weeks ago and were comfortable ratcheting back to ‘orange’ (moderate).

Meanwhile, at the state level, Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) officials say it is critical time for residents to follow the department’s recommendations with reported cases of COVID-19 recently escalating along with hospitalizations and confirmed coronavirus-related deaths.

“Our coronavirus cases are growing far too quickly and we are facing a deeply concerning situation across the state,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH. “It is up to all of us to help prevent Wyoming’s problem from getting far worse.”

Harrist stressed staying home and away from other people when sick unless seeking medical help.

“This is important even you are just a little sick. If you have symptoms, don’t automatically assume it’s nothing. Plenty of people have done that and spread the virus among their families and friends and at their workplaces,” she said.

WDH recommends wearing cloth face coverings when people are in public settings or around other people who aren’t members of their households and physical distancing is not reasonable or practical. “We know masks can work and help slow the spread of this virus. We are seeing that happen within classrooms, for example,” Harrist said.

Harris said it is important for people who have possible COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

“Don’t avoid testing because you don’t want to get bad news. You need to know so you can avoid exposing others to the virus,” she explained. “We also need people to follow our public health orders and to follow the directives and advice from public health representatives,” Harrist said. “If they reach out, answer the phone or return the calls. Answer their questions honestly. If you are asked to get tested, get tested. If you are told to isolate or quarantine, do it.”