County Commissioners Want Rewrite of State's Quarantine Letter | Big Horn Basin Media

County Commissioners Want Rewrite of State’s Quarantine Letter

Written by on August 12, 2020

Commissioners cued county health officials with COVID queries.

Yesterday, the Park County Commissioners questioned Park County Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin and Public Health Nurse Manager Bill Crampton on all things COVID-19, hosting the meeting in person and over Skype. Everything from how long someone stays contagious (still to be determined) why Powell has the machine for day-of testing results (they had the machine before the pandemic) to the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine (debatably effective in very select cases but certainly not a cure) were discussed.

But one of the main points of discussion was a letter, specifically one sent to those who have been told to quarantine in isolation if they test positive. Several commissioners said the letter was too “heavy handed and strongly worded” as it threatens prosecution should the quarantine not be abided. Jake Fulkerson said it doesn’t read like it came from a neighbor and sounds more like something that would be sent in Chicago, while Lloyd Thiel said it might infringe on privacy rights too much, making people less likely to comply with contact tracing.

Both Billin and Crampton said they had no authority over the letter – it has been sent by the Wyoming Department of Health, not the county. But the letter is intended to inspire action and emphasize the importance of quarantine in isolation and the Department of Health has the full legal authority to prosecute those who do not isolate. That being said, they cannot enforce this rule, leaving that to the discretion of local authorities. Commissioner Lee Livingston has already sent a letter to the Governor requesting a softer rewrite – and wasn’t the first state resident to do so.

As for contact tracing, Crampton said they are more than used to false leads and non-compliance, saying he once received Mickey Mouse as a possible person who had contact with an infected person.

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