An impassioned Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon on Monday said the state's surging COVID-19 case numbers is "discouraging" and called on residents to "do the right thing."

"We are trending in the wrong direction," Gordon said.

Currently, Wyoming is reporting 98 new positive coronavirus cases per day, something the governor called "concerningly higher."

Thirty-six Wyomingites are hospitalized as of Monday, the highest since the pandemic began.

The spike in new cases inevitably means that Wyoming residents won't feel as safe going out for dinner or going to the store, Gordon said. It's imperative that people feel safe going out, he added.

"We need the exact opposite to happen," Gordon said. "We need people to feel safe going out."

The governor announced that the Wyoming National Guard has received authorization to assist with contact tracing due to strain on the state's health resources.

Gordon said it wasn't long ago that Wyoming had one of the lowest infection rates in the country. Today, four counties have more than 100 cases. Albany County, home to the University of Wyoming, has more than 250 active cases.

State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said the worst-case scenario would be if the state's hospitals begin to become strained from the sharp increase in cases.

Statewide, Wyoming has more than 1,200 active cases.

As of Monday, Wyoming is reporting 5,660 confirmed COVID cases. Fifty-three residents have died from the illness.

This story will be updated. 

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