Many of the Casper area's recovered COVID-19 patients are still testing positive for the illness more than a month after first testing positive.

Casper-Natrona County Public Health spokeswoman Hailey Bloom said Wednesday that area health officials have been closely tracking Natrona County's confirmed COVID-19 patients. Many of those patients have had to be retested for reasons including returning to work or their living setting.

"This means these patients still had the COVID-19 virus in their nose," Bloom said. "Even though they may feel better and may have met criteria by the CDC and Wyoming Department of Health for being recovered, they can still expose others by respiratory droplets like sneezing or coughing."

Because of that, Bloom said it's critical for residents to continue wearing face coverings when out in public. Coverings can be made from household items like t-shirts, bandanas and scarves.

They should be worn in places like grocery stores or pharmacies.

As of Wednesday morning, 39 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Natrona County. Of those, 21 have recovered.

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