Testing Priorities

COVID-19 Testing Priorities and Procedures in Platte County

CDC Priorities for Testing


Ensures optimal care options for all hospitalized patients, lessen the risk of healthcare-associated infections, and maintain the integrity of the U.S. healthcare system

  • Hospitalized patients
  • Healthcare facility workers with symptoms


Ensures those at highest risk of complication of infection are rapidly identified and appropriately triaged

  • Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms
  • Patients 65 years of age and older with symptoms
  • Patients with underlying condition


As resources allow, test individuals in the surrounding community of rapidly increasing hospital cases to decrease community spread, and ensure health of essential workers

  • Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms
  • Individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms
  • Healthcare facility workers and first responders
  • Individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations


  • Individuals without symptoms

How is testing for COVID-19 in Platte County being carried out?

Testing for COVID-19 in Platte County is currently being done according to the CDC Guidelines. ALL individuals who fall under Priority levels 1, 2, & 3 are being tested. ALL of them.

Where it indicates “symptoms” in the guidelines above, it means symptoms consistent with COVID-19 symptoms. As it is being done statewide, a local medical professional will evaluate the symptoms to make a judgement as to whether they are consistent with COVID-19 symptoms. If someone who has “symptoms” is not tested, it is because the symptoms they have do not meet the symptomatic criteria of COVID-19.

Medical professionals are erring on the side of caution in deciding whether to test someone or not. In Wyoming the positives are only 4.5 % (317 positives out of 7158 tests) as of April 21. In Platte County it’s zero positives out of 53 tests done.

So what about treatment if I get tested versus if I don’t get tested?

If you have symptoms that don’t match COVID-19 criteria, you will not be given a test and told to:

  • Go home
  • Stay isolated
  • Call if your symptoms change or get worse

If you have symptoms that match COVID-19 criteria, you will be tested and while test results are pending you will be told to:

  • Go home
  • Stay isolated
  • Call if your symptoms change or get worse

If the test comes back as positive the Wyoming Department of Health will engage in contact tracing to see who you may have passed the virus to and you will be told to:

  • Go home
  • Stay isolated
  • Call if your symptoms change or get worse

Your treatment is the same, regardless of whether you have COVID-19 or not. In Wyoming, only about 16% of positive cases have required hospitalization (as of April 21). Most positive cases recover at home.

What will Platte County do differently if we have a positive case?

Platte County Public Health will assist the Wyoming Department of Health in contact tracing. Notifications will be made to local authorities, and a press release will be issued – very quickly. But the county will take no other special actions. We are already engaged in all of the activities & restrictions as we would be if we have a positive case.

Aren’t some people going to Cheyenne and getting tested there because they are refused a test here?

People are free to do as they wish. The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is not currently processing tests for individuals who do not meet the criteria. However, private laboratories are less stringent, and they are more willing to test individuals who don’t meet the criteria, but it does come at a cost. The WDH does not charge for its tests and private laboratories do. Some people may want to be tested, for their own peace of mind, even though their medical professional does not think they have COVID-19.

If a Platte County resident went to Cheyenne for a test and tested positive, would that keep Platte County from having positives?

Every positive test is reported by the state according the place of residence of the person tested, not the location of the test.

Is testing in Platte County being limited just so we can keep a zero positive rating?

Absolutely not. While there are only two Wyoming counties that have zero positives (as of April 21), there are several dozen across the country that are in the same situation. There is no incentive to keep a zero positive rating, unless it is reflective of the facts. A genuine zero positive rating means that a combination of coincident circumstances, hard work, and community sacrifice and compliance have come together to give us this good result.