Spring and summer events and activities around Wyoming are being canceled as the state works to deal with the restrictions on personal movement imposed by the coronavirus.
The Wyoming High School Activities Association announced Tuesday it canceled all spring high school sports because of the uncertainty created by COVID-19.
“Due to the continuing influence of COVID-19, we are not able to predict when it will be safe to resume spring sports, nor are we able to assure if any of our communities would be able to host any of our events,” the WHSAA’s board of directors said in a statement on the organization’s website. “We … understand the overwhelming disappointment this decision is for our student athletes, especially our seniors.”
The announcement came as Wyoming’s coronavirus case count increased to 221 on Tuesday, with new cases seen in Laramie, Teton, Washakie and Sweetwater counties.
As of Wednesday morning, Laramie County had 48 cases; Teton County had 44; Fremont County had 38; Natrona had 26; Sheridan had 12; Campbell had nine; Johnson had eight; Sweetwater had six; Washakie had five; Albany, Carbon, Converse and Lincoln each reported four, and Goshen and Uinta each had three. Crook, Park and Sublette counties each had one case.
The state Department of Health continued to report the number of recovered coronavirus patients at 62.
COVID-19 also led to the cancelation of summer performances by Casper’s Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps, only the second time the group has canceled its season since its founding in 1957.
The group said it was growing increasingly difficult to prepare for the 2020 season because of the shutdown of uniform manufacturing companies, a lack of available housing, the cancelation of shows and the closure of the group’s spring training facility.
In other developments:
Worker concerns: Carbon County commissioners expressed concern Tuesday over the number of contract workers traveling to the county to work on major energy projects. Commission Chairman John Johnson said he was concerned that the influx of workers could create a strain for some of the county’s small communities such as Medicine Bow and Hanna.
“These people are coming from all over the country,” he said. “And we don’t know the extent of what they can be bringing into our community.”
Doctor deployed: A Sheridan doctor who is a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve is being deployed to New York City to help battle the coronavirus outbreak there. Dr. Cheryl Varner, an ear, nose and throat specialist, will go to New York after a two-week training period. In New York, Varner will join thousands of other deployed military doctors, nurses and medical aides. Most of those deployed will be stationed at a convention center converted into a militarized field hospital.
Expo online: The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has moved its annual Wyoming Outdoor Expo online. The “Expo at Home” is an online event that features hundreds of outdoor-inspired activities and learning opportunities, according to a news release from the department. The Outdoor Expo for years offered an opportunity for visitors to speak with vendors of different outdoor equipment, such as fishing and camping goods, as well as take in educational exhibits.
To see this year’s Expo at Home, visit https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Education/WGFD-at-home.
Donation: First Lady Jennie Gordon’s “Wyoming Hunger Initiative” has donated $40,000 to anti-hunger organizations in every county in Wyoming. The funds are to be used specifically to feed families during the coronavirus outbreak. A second round of funding is planned for distribution in May.
Future plans: Wyoming must prepare for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to market itself, according to an executive with a Wyoming advertising firm. Kurt Box, speaking during a webinar hosted by Gillette’s Energy Capital Economic Development, said Wyoming must position itself for the tourism traffic that will occur when the “all-clear” signal is given.
“We do think that when this clears, Wyoming is one of the states people are going to want to come visit,” said Jessica Sedars, executive director for both the Gillette Main Street and the Campbell County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Renovation delayed: Work to renovate the Albany County Courthouse has been put on hold until the coronavirus pandemic subsides. Bill Gorman, Albany County’s engineer, said the contractor on the job will probably stop work for 30 to 60 days. “They’ve been plugging along up until now trying to get as much done as they can, but now it’s becoming a little bit more dangerous for the employees to be working in close proximity,” he said.