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Sweetwater County has two more COVID-19 cases

  • Category: Health & Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Sweetwater County COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center Public Information Office
Sweetwater County has two more COVID-19 cases

Restaurant closes to ensure staff safety

Two more Rock Springs residents have been notified they have COVD-19.

Sweetwater County healthcare agencies were notified of the cases Saturday, April 11, 2020, by a private lab. The eighth and ninth cases include two males, one in his late teens and the other in his 20s. Both are in good condition and self-isolating at home, according to Sweetwater County Public Health.

These two people are linked to cases No. 6, a Green River woman in her 40s, and No.7, a Green River woman in her 20s.

Three of the recent cases are people who are employed at Santa Fe Southwest Grill. Owners Cory Gardner and Shane Patterson have closed the restaurant for at least the next two weeks.

When they learned one of their associates was linked to someone who tested positive, the staff began taking extra precautions, and the associate went into home isolation, Gardner said.

“We continued to operate while implementing standard cleaning and sanitizing procedures,” Gardner told the community on the restaurant’s Facebook page. The owners were notified Thursday evening that the associate also tested positive for the virus.

They closed the restaurant Friday for the Day of Prayer and the Easter weekend. They now will remain closed for at least two weeks.

“You love your community so much, and you build a business,” Gardner said. “We are so thankful for this community and all of the kind comments we’ve gotten on our Facebook page.”

Sara Geffre, Environmental Health Supervisor with the Sweetwater County District Board of Health, said there is no evidence that coronavirus can be spread through prepared foods.

“Please know there is no reason for panic, or to be afraid to order food from any restaurant in Sweetwater County,” Geffre said. “The restaurants follow the Wyoming Food Code, and are inspected twice a year.

“I am a stickler on hand washing, and that is the first thing I do on my inspections. In this crazy time, I would say our restaurants are cleaner than they have ever been, and employees are washing their hands more than they ever have before,” she said.

Geffre has recently spoken with many area restaurant owners and manager to discuss the measures they are taking during this pandemic.

“I am blown away with how serious they are taking this and doing everything to ensure safety of their food,” Geffre said. “Please continue to support the restaurant/food industry. I am, and will continue to do so.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

Like many area restaurants with licensed kitchens, Gardner said “cleanliness is a huge thing for us. That’s a big a point of pride with us. When the coronavirus hit, we doubled our efforts to take extra precautions. The iPad we take out to the parking lot is sanitized between orders.

“We made the decision to close for at least two weeks,” Gardner said. “We don’t want to put anyone at risk. None of us want to be carriers.”

Community spread remains a concern. If someone tests positive, but a specific source for their infection cannot be determined, it will become more difficult to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 in Sweetwater County.

Three Sweetwater County people who tested positive are now fully recovered.

The third, fifth, sixth and seventh cases remain in self-isolation in good condition with only mild symptoms treatable from home.

Sweetwater County Public Health begins contact tracing as soon as a positive patient is identified. Through contact tracing, probable cases are identified. A “probable” case is defined as a close contact of a confirmed positive who is symptomatic, but who has not been tested in an effort to conserve testing supplies.

To stop community spread, it’s important to stay 6-feet away from people you are not housed with, send only one person to the grocery story, and stay home if possible.

If you have a temperature of 100 or greater or a cough, call your provider or call the MHSC COVID-19 Nurse Triage Line at 307-522-8523 to discuss COVID-19 symptoms. Don’t touch your T-zone – eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your cough –cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, NOT in your hands.

More health and community updates can be found at sweetwatermemorial.com, sweetwater311.org, covid19.wyo.gov., and cdc.gov.