“We Know What Works” White House Official Said: Wear Masks

The Coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birks, was in Riverton Wednesday as part of a 40 state tour to learn what Governors and Tribes are doing to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Pictured with Dr. Birks, from left, is Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Lee Spoonhunter and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. Wyotoday.com photo by Ernie Over

The coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Response Task Force said in Riverton Wednesday that the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountain States are seeing rising cases of Covid-19. Dr. Deborah Birx said activities prior to October had been outside, but a dramatic early fall cold snap sent people indoors which has fueled the community spread of the virus in the region.

Birx cautioned that it’s important to know about the silent asymptomatic people who don’t think they are infected, but they are and are innocently passing the virus on to others. That is why she urged people to keep wearing masks, social distance, wash hands frequently and stay home if not feeling well. “We know what works,” Birx said, “and that is wearing masks.”

Dr. Birx said Wyoming has done very aggressive testing to find those asymptomatic individuals and she noted that the state and Tribes of Wind River have been working together. “You’ve been doing Very aggressive testing  including waste water testing, the kind of testing done here is equivalent to anything done at the best universities,” she said. “I’m here to help how we can facilitate that extra testing.”

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In Fremont County, the number of active cases increased by 21 on Thursday as the community spread of the virus continued to trend upward. According to the Wyoming Department of Health, Fremont currently has 363 active cases, Hot Springs has 12, Washakie has 19 and Natrona has 512.

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