CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A surge in local cases of the coronavirus blamed on people not following social distancing recommendations or wearing face masks in public has prompted the cancellation of a Memorial Day car show in Wyoming.
Yellowstone Garage in Casper previously received verbal approval for a variance to the state health order banning gatherings of more than 25 people. By Monday, however, the situation had changed.
Nine new virus cases in Natrona County led State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist to oppose the variance, Casper-Natrona ! County Health Department spokesperson Hailey Bloom told the Casper Star-Tribune. The outdoor car show could have drawn thousands of people.
The new virus cases brought to 13 the number of local infections confirmed in the previous week - after three weeks without any new cases in the area.
"This is not an appropriate time to have a large event," Bloom said, citing comments by Harrist.
People not social distancing or wearing face masks in public probably led to the jump in local cases, Natrona County Health Officer Dr. Mark Dowell said Tuesday.
"It makes you really have to think it through. We want people to be able to do things but we have got to do it safely," Dowell said.
Wyoming has had at least 776 confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus, officials said. Of those, 528 have recovered and 10 died.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three we! eks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.