TORRINGTON – The ninth lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed in a young female between 10 and 13 years old, according to Goshen County Public Health, as statewide case numbers surged past 1,700.
There are currently 425 active cases in the state, and 24 people have died. 1,303 lab-confirmed cases have recovered. Locally, the ninth case is the only active case, accord to data from the Wyoming Department of Health. Nationwide, there have been 3.83 million cases. 143,000 of those, or 3.7%, have proven fatal.
State and local officials have asked citizens to wear cloth face masks to help prevent the spread of the virus. According to a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cloth face masks are the best defense against the novel coronavirus and will play a role in bringing the pandemic to an end.
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
Last week, Governor Mark Gordon addressed that cavalier stance of some Wyomingites during his weekly press conference.
“I was always concerned about people behaving in a careful and conscientious way,” he said. “And for the most part, I hope that most people have, but we are nonetheless seeing cases in places that we haven’t seen it before, and an uptick in the number of cases.
“I’ve gotten some email that I really don’t appreciate, and I just want to point out that I really feel badly,” he said. “And I grieve along with their families, any of these people who die. So, when somebody sends me a note that says, ‘Well, these people are going to die anyway, they’re just dying sooner.’ I’ve got to say, I’m offended. And as an American, I think most people are going to be offended by the notion that people should just get this COVID-19 and get out of the way. I’m sick and tired of hearing that our country and our nation needs to be open. We need to behave in a way that is conscientious of one another. There is no constitutional right to go infect somebody else. There is no constitutional right that says you can put others in harm’s way. So, let’s behave and let’s be mindful of our neighbors.”
While wearing a mask has drawn criticism in some social media circles, Gordon said they are going to play a big role in restoring Wyoming’s economy.
“If we wear a mask, we will slow down this pandemic and allow our businesses to continue, allow our kids to go back to school,” Gordon said. “We are seeing private employers require them, and I congratulate them. This is their prerogative; this is their constitutional right. If they say, no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service by God, I’m going to respect that.”
While critics have cried that masks and mask mandates, such as the one in Teton County, are unconstitutional, Gordon said that’s not true.
“I am not particularly inclined to say, and I’m certainly not inclined to do a statewide order,” Gordon said. “If conditions in a local community or county require it, and those elected representatives really request it, we’ll work with them to try to make sure that that’s a possibility.
“There have been some obnoxious individuals who have gone in to try to argue the constitutionality of it. I think that those people ought to read Federalist No. 10 or Federalist No. 84 and understand really what the damn Constitution says.”