Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page for COVID-19. Page contains general information as well as information from Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC), the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department, and the City of Cheyenne. This page will be updated with information as it becomes available.

General Information

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

When was the first case of COVID-19 reported in the U.S.?

The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is know to spread from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some diseases are highly contagious (like measles), while other diseases are less so.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

• fever

• cough

• shortness of breath

There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These include:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Is there a treatment?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.

Who is at higher risk?

Early information shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

• Older adults

• People who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease.

If you are at higher risk because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important to take actions to reduce the risk of getting sick with the disease. If you are at higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19, you should:

• Take every day precautions to keep space between yourself and others.

• When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.

• Avoid crowds as much as possible.

• Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.

• Reduce your risk of being exposed.

Why is the disease causing the outbreak now being called coronavirus disease, COVID-19?

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.”

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization best practice external icon for naming of new human infectious diseases.

Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center / Cheyenne Regional Medical Group

I've heard the hospital needs protective masks -- how can I help?

CRMC has a few options for our community members looking to help. That information can be found here: Donation Information

Who can come to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s mobile clinic to be tested for COVID-19?

You must first meet all of the following criteria:

◦ You have to be a patient with Cheyenne Regional Medical Group (CRMG).

◦ You have to call your CRMG provider to determine if you meet the criteria for testing (fever, coughing, shortness of breath).

◦ You have to get a referral from your CRMG provider to be tested.

We also encourage community members to use SmartExam, as it can screen for COVID-19. (You have to be a patient of CRMG and have an online MyChart account to access SmartExam.) If you are a CRMG patient and need help setting up a MyChart account, please call 307-778-5819 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please leave a message if someone doesn’t pick up. Your call is important and will be returned as soon as possible.

What is the criteria to be tested for COVID-19 in Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department?

Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, like most hospitals in the nation, has been affected by the national shortage of testing supplies required to test for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This national shortage has limited the ability of CRMC to collect samples to send to the Wyoming Department of Health for COVID-19 testing. As we continue to work with our local and state health departments, we are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and are judiciously limiting our testing for COVID-19 consistent with the federal recommendations.

When a patient arrives at the Emergency Department at CRMC, our clinical team (composed of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and registered nurses) will obtain a detailed history and perform a physical examination. Based on these findings and use of clinical judgment, the clinical team will determine if COVID-19 testing is indicated.

In accordance with the state health department, our priorities for testing currently include patients requiring hospitalization with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, patients that have chronic medical conditions or are immunocompromised and have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and any person, including healthcare personnel, that has had close contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient or has a history of travel from the high-risk areas.

In order to reduce exposure and transmission of COVID-19 to our staff or other patients in the Emergency Department, we are requesting that any patient with a mild flu-like illness stay home and call their healthcare provider for further guidance.

We would like any patient experiencing more severe respiratory symptoms necessitating evaluation and treatment in the Emergency Department (symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath) to call the main hospital number (307-634-2273) ahead of time to let our Emergency Department know they are coming to our ED. That will give our ED staff time to adequately prepare.

Due to the high transmission rate of COVID-19, we are also asking that all patients enter through the main Emergency Department entrance and not walk through the hospital, to reduce transmission of this illness.

CRMC is committed to taking care of our patients and community, and we have worked hard to create protocols and designated isolation areas to care for and test our patients while protecting our staff and other patients from being exposed to COVID-19.

Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department

I have questions about COVID-19. Who can I call for information?

For all COVID-19 related questions, you can call Cheyenne-Laramie County Health at 307-633-4000.

I lost my job due to COVID-19, are there any job opportunities available?

Below is a link of job openings for individuals in the community who have been displaced temporarily or permanently: www.rudloffsolutions.com/jobsboard. This page will be updated as new job opportunities become available.

I’m unable to buy toilet paper due to availability. Can I flush wipes or similar materials down the toilet?

No! We ask residents to flush only the 3P’s down the toilet: pee, pooh and TP (toilet paper). Flushing baby wipes, cleaning wipes, paper towels, napkins, tissues, or any other paper products may result in a sewer backup in your home and/or your neighbors’ home. Even with frequent maintenance, items like wipes, paper towels, napkins, and tissues are causing sewer issues and backups.

City of Cheyenne

Is the City of Cheyenne still open? Am I still able to contact City Departments?

Yes, absolutely. Although City buildings and offices are closed to the public for safety reasons, City departments and employees are still working remotely.

If I need to call a City Department, will I be able to speak with someone?

Yes. Department numbers have been forwarded to cell phones, allowing employees to work remotely and take your calls. Departments and employees also remain available via email.

How exactly is the City operating right now due to COVID-19?

City Departments and staff are still able to work remotely. For more information on how departments are operating during this time, view our City work plan for March 16-27: https://bit.ly/2U84WWL. That work plan is also available in Spanish: https://bit.ly/33AoUNb

There is a lot of information about COVID-19 and many daily updates. Is there a website that has collected that information in one place so I’m not trying to search and find it?

Yes. The City of Cheyenne has created a web page specific for COVID-19, www.cheyennecity.org/COVID-19. This page was created to provide information on the virus, basic precautionary health measures, local resources, press releases, and any other updates deemed necessary. This page is updated daily when new information is announced. The State of Wyoming has also created a web page for COVID-19 information: https://covid19.wyo.gov/

I’m unable to buy cleaning supplies, am I able to make my own using other household items?

Cheyenne Fire Rescue reminds residents that while cleaning supplies are in short supply at local stores, creating your own cleaning solution can be very dangerous and cause serious health issues.

“There are some people who have decided to create their own cleaning solutions which is not advised,” said Greg Hoggatt, Chief of Cheyenne Fire Rescue. “One of the best things to use as a cleaner is vinegar. It is a safe bleach alternative for some applications, like cleaning. It can be effective against some bacteria and viruses”

Chief Hoggatt reminds everyone not to mix these chemicals:

• Bleach + vinegar = chlorine gas. This can lead to coughing, breathing problems, burning and watery eyes.

• Bleach + ammonia = chloramine. This can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.

• Bleach + rubbing alcohol = chloroform. This is highly toxic

• Hydrogen peroxide + vinegar = peracetic/peroxyacetic acid. This can be highly corrosive.

The best advance, said Hoggatt, is don’t mix chemicals, and follow the directions on the product label. For more information, contact Cheyenne Fire Rescue at 637-6311.