IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Idaho’s neighbors, Montana and Wyoming, have seen relatively mild impacts from COVID-19 so far, but officials in both states say that is changing.
“We are now seeing widespread community transmission similar to what we saw in late March and early April,” said Matt Kelley, Health Officer with Gallatin City-County Health Department. “And we are seeing significant numbers of cases in people who have been in crowded bars, parties, and other events.”
Gallatin County reported 38 individuals tested positive for the virus over the past seven days, including 2 in West Yellowstone.
Kelley said the steadily increasing case numbers are concerning in light of rapid and expansive growth of outbreaks in other parts of the nation, including Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Other states experiencing rising numbers of cases include Utah, Idaho, and Washington.
“This is serious and we need people to take it seriously,” said Kelley. “That means people should avoid crowded settings, wear face coverings where social distancing is difficult, and stay home when they are sick, even with mild symptoms.”
Wyoming surpassed 1,000 cases and reported 36 new cases Thursday, the largest single-day total the state has seen. Teton, Fremont and Uinta Counties have the highest rate this week and the state has launched its own campaign to limit spread of the disease, calling those simple steps more important than ever.
The Department of Health and Governor Mark Gordon are recommending people wear cloth face coverings in public, and settings where it is not possible or reasonable to stay physically apart, because masks can help block virus transmission.