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Two coronavirus outbreaks in Wyoming tied to churches

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Two outbreaks of the coronavirus in the Wyoming county of Fremont, located just southeast of Yellowstone National Park, were tied to churches, officials said.

The exact number of confirmed cases is uncertain. Fremont County spokesman Michael Jones said the first cluster had anywhere between 10 and 30 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The second church was hosting a camp, Jones said. Officials are currently investigating the church and contact tracing possible infections.

“We’re definitely hitting some spikes, and it’s all these social gatherings,” Jones said. “You hate to say churches, but it is family and social gatherings where people are inside and let their guard down.”

Fremont County has had 506 confirmed coronavirus cases since March.

The county accounts for more than a third of the state’s overall death toll of 37, with 13 deaths. The majority of the deaths have been members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

The county has reported nearly 70 confirmed cases in the last two weeks.

As of Monday, there have been 3,068 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide since March.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested. Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some—especially older adults and people with existing health problems—it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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