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The Wyoming Medical Center will be “extremely thinly stretched” in the wake of the COVID-19 surge, officials said.Wyoming News





Housekeeper Mary McCreelan will clean the neurological unit room at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper on Friday, October 9, 2020.

Cayla Nimmo, Star Tribune

A record number of COVID-19 patients have been admitted to the Wyoming Medical Center, and as of Wednesday afternoon, 21 of the facility’s 149 inpatients have been hospitalized for the virus.

Due to the proliferation of patients, Casper Hospital has begun to divert patients from outside Natrona County unless they have had a heart attack, stroke, or trauma. At a press conference on Wednesday, officials said they would help more patients in the coming weeks.

“This won’t go away in the coming months, I think it’s going to get worse,” said Dr. Mark Dowell, a health officer in Natrona County. “Our hospital has already expanded and we haven’t even seen the amount of COVID we’ll see.”

“I think we’ll be stretched very thinly in the hospital,” he added.

Early in the pandemic, the hospital treated three to four COVID patients a day, interim CEO Jim Brighter told reporters. By summer, the range affected up to 6-8 patients. However, in the past few weeks, the number of COVID patients has skyrocketed to 21 on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the hospital opened the Surge COVID-19 unit for the first time since the pandemic began, which was announced in a Facebook post. The largest hospital in Wyoming has now enacted the Code Orange Incident Command. This establishes several protocols to help hospitals cope with the increase.


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