Wyoming reports 1st coronavirus-related fatality

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Officials in Wyoming announced its first coronavirus-related fatality on Monday, meaning all 50 states and the District of Columbia have reported COVID-19 deaths.

The victim was identified as an older man from Johnson County who had “health conditions that put him at higher risk of severe illness and complications related to COVID-19,” according to the health department.

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“This is a sad development we hoped we wouldn’t see in Wyoming and we want this person’s family to know they have our sympathy,” Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist, said in a statement. “The advice we’ve been offering and actions we’ve taken ultimately come down to preventing as many serious illnesses and deaths connected to this disease as we can.”

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon also confirmed the death in a statement on Twitter.

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“I am saddened to learn that we have lost our first Wyoming citizen to COVID-19, a Johnson County man with underlying health conditions that put him at higher risk of severe illness and complications related to the virus,” Gordon tweeted. “This one was close to home and sadly serves as a grim reminder of the importance of following public health orders and guidance so we can reduce the number of serious illnesses and deaths in our state. Jennie and I extend our thoughts and prayers to this gentleman’s family and friends.”

As of Monday, officials had counted 275 confirmed COVID-19 illnesses and 98 probable cases.

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Wyoming had been the only state without a coronavirus-related fatality, while the national death toll has exceeded 22,930.