Natrona County Still Facing COVID-19 Test Kit Shortage
Medical personnel would likely be testing every patient with respiratory symptoms in Natrona County if they had enough test kits, a Wyoming Medical Center doctor said Wednesday.
"We have dwindling supplies," Dr. Ghazi Ghanem said. He added that employees at Wyoming Medical Center are doing everything they can to preserve those supplies. "It's a national shortage."
"We have to be very stringent in selecting the patients that will be tested."
Wyoming Medical Center has 400 test kits as of Wednesday, Ghanem said.
"The state is allocating what they're going to send to us," the doctor said. "And I'm going to tell you it's not very many."
Other viruses are affected residents in the community, Ghanem said. Having a runny nose, sore throat, a fever — et cetera — doesn't mean that someone is infected with COVID-19.
That said, Ghanem urged the public to stay home if they are sick.
"Even if you have a common cold (and you stay home), you've helped us," Ghanem said. "I'm very impressed with the response (the community is) having."
Dr. Ghazi Ghanem also told reporters Wednesday that the Casper area hasn't seen any confirmed cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Ghanem urged the public to take preventative measures to slow the spread of the virus.
"This is not a drill," Ghanem said, but it's also "not a panic situation."
The Wyoming Medical Center infectious disease physician said health officials are taking extra measures and working with nursing homes to protect those most vulnerable to the pandemic.
COVID-19 has not been detected in Casper. Ghanem said that the "doubling time" of coronavirus is six weeks.
This story will be updated.