Frequently Asked Questions

So much has happened between now and March 2020. We’ve all been through a lot, and while everyone had hoped we’d be done with COVID by now, there’s still a battle to fight. Arm yourself with vaccination, testing and education. We’re all learning more about COVID day by day, and while the situation does continually evolve, a few things are certain:

  1. Vaccines are the best way to beat COVID.
  2. Vaccines are safe and effective.
  3. Stay home if you’re sick.
  4. Get tested if you have symptoms or exposure.

It’s COVID’s knockout punch. Vaccines do two different things:

  1. Help prevent you from contracting COVID.
  2. Significantly minimize COVID symptoms and illness if you do contract the disease or a variant like Delta. More than 99.99% of fully vaccinated people have not had a breakthrough case resulting in hospitalizations or deaths.

Vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis with no appointment necessary Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM at the Casper-Natrona County Health Department . Just come to the front desk. The typical vaccination visit takes less than 30 minutes, so you’ll still have time to grab lunch on your way back to work.

Whichever one is right for you. The CNCHD has all three available, and it’s totally up to you. Pfizer and Moderna are both two dose shots, and Johnson & Johnson is one. All three are great tools against contracting COVID, extremely effective against serious illness and all of them are safe.

COVID vaccines are extremely effective, but they’re not impenetrable. Vaccines aren’t like bug zappers that kill viruses on contact. Instead, think of them like a poison trap in which the pest gets stuck, wiggles around, but eventually dies from insecticide. Vaccinated individuals can contract and carry COVID, but they typically don’t show symptoms and almost never experience serious illness. This is why we’ve recently seen fully vaccinated but frequently people like Olympians or professional baseball players testing positive for COVID but don’t have any symptoms. It’s their effectiveness against serious illness that is the most important reason to get them, though. Our hospitals won’t be overrun, and we won’t lose our loved ones and neighbors to COVID.

Logic says that if one person wants to get vaccinated and one person doesn’t, it’s all personal choice and one person’s choice doesn’t affect someone else. Unfortunately, that’s not how disease prevention works. Extremely contagious diseases like COVID can move from host-to-host, and the more they’re able to move, the longer they’ll live. The longer they live, the more they’ll mutate and create new strains. But there’s a solution. The more people that are vaccinated, the harder it will be for the virus to find different hosts, even in breakthrough cases. This is Casper versus COVID, so beating this bug really will take all of us being vaccinated. Additionally, some people like children under 12 and others with certain health conditions can’t be vaccinated, so we need to protect them, as well.

  1. Slows community spread, which will minimize virus mutations like the Delta variant
  2. Prevents our hospitals from filling up
  3. Helps us reach herd immunity
  4. Not everyone can get vaccinated, like kids under 12, people with certain autoimmune deficiencies and some allergies

As of Aug. 23, the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine for everyone 16 and over as a safe and effective protection against COVID-19. In the FDA’s review for approval, the agency analyzed effectiveness data from approximately 20,000 vaccine and 20,000 placebo recipients ages 16 and over. The trials yielded a 91% effectiveness in preventing COVID-19. Safety was evaluated in approximately 22,000 individuals in a vaccinated group and 22,000 in a placebo group. Most side effects included pain, redness or swelling at the injection as well as flu-like symptoms including fatigue, headache or fever. These symptoms typically subside within 24 hours. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control have monitoring systems in place to identify and evaluate any safety concerns moving forward. Use in children ages 12-15 continues to be emergency use authorization, but full approval for this group is underway. Read the official statement from the FDA.

Moderna applied for full approval for its vaccination in June 2021, less than a month after Pfizer. The FDA is expected to make an approval decision on Moderna in the coming weeks. All COVID vaccinations have undergone and exceeded the most rigorous and comprehensive safety standards medicine has ever seen. 

The best protection from the Delta variant is with a vaccine. It’s also the best way to stop its spread. As long as the COVID virus exists, it will continue to mutate into more contagious, more powerful versions of itself to continue to survive. However, if a large percentage of the population is vaccinated, the COVID virus will struggle to find new hosts and eventually die out. 

If you’ve already had COVID, it’s true your body has already built up some level of immunity. However, we still don’t know how robust that response is or how long it lasts. Additionally, your level of immunity is dependent on a number of factors like your viral load, overall health and lifestyle factors. Vaccines, on the other hand, have been studied extensively, so we know that your shots give you a strong immune response, they’ll provide durable immunity and may protect against future variants. In other words, you’re more protected with natural immunity and a vaccine then you are on your own.

YES. All COVID vaccines are safe. We understand and respect your uncertainty with medications, but the FDA and the world’s leading medical experts have been making sure that they’re safe. In fact, they’ve undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in US history. That’s how the CDC was able to detect 28 cases of rare blood clots among 8.7 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the spring. In Casper, we administered our first vaccine December 16 with great success. Since then, thousands of your friends and neighbors have been fully vaccinated with no complications.

There is no evidence that vaccines cause any fertility risks in men or women. In fact, no vaccine has ever caused infertility. This rumor may have started due to confusion between two types of proteins: the spike protein to which the coronavirus attaches in our body and the syncytin-1 protein, which is part of placenta formation during pregnancy. These two proteins are immunologically very different, and our bodies can easily distinguish between the two, so there is no risk that the mRNA would attack the syncytin-1 protein.

The Casper-Natrona County Health Department  has you covered. Tests are free and available 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM Monday-Friday with or without an appointment. Schedule your test here (link to schedule) , call 307.577.9892 , or just drive up – whatever is best for you.

All tests are performed outside of the CNCHD building (insert location link). Just drive to the back of the building near the alcove, call the phone number on the sign and someone will be out to perform your test. If you scheduled your test ahead of time, someone should be waiting outside for you. Tests are available with or without an appointment – whatever is best for you.

Rapid PCR tests are available but cost $100 per test. Test results will be delivered in around 6 hours, and these are typically reserved for individuals needing pre-op (prior to surgery) or travel testing.

Isolate for 5 days and if you are asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow by 5 days of wearing a mask around others. Your 5 days begins the first day of your symptoms or the date of your test, if you’re not experiencing symptoms. This applies regardless of vaccination status.

The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

Please contact anyone with whom you’ve spent more than 15 minutes in the two days before your symptoms and ask them to isolate.

The Casper-Natrona County Health Department does not and cannot provide treatment for COVID-19 illness. For more information on treatment plans including monoclonal antibodies, please contact your primary care provider. If you have urgent concerns like significant difficulty breathing, blueish lips, etc. go to the emergency room immediately.

As long as you remain symptom free, continue normal activities like going to school and work. Plan to take a PCR test five days following your exposure to verify that you’re not carrying COVID and exposing others. Mask indoors for 10 days following the exposure and continue to monitor for symptoms. 

If you become symptomatic at any time, get tested and stay home.

Unfortunately, contact tracing is still difficult to keep up with due to lag time in reporting and limited staffing. If you test positive, please contact anyone with whom you’ve spent more than 15 minutes in the two days before your symptoms. If you need an official Isolation Letter, request one here.

We know this has been a touchy, confusing subject for a long time now. Even though March 2020 may feel like a lifetime ago, COVID is actually a very new disease with constantly evolving science and research. The best weapon against COVID is vaccination, but masking is another tool.

(August 25, 2021) – After months of research, data collection and millions of doses administered, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination has been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for all individuals 16 and older as a safe and effective protection against COVID-19…Read More

(August 20, 2021) – To make COVID-19 testing convenient and accessible for everyone, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department reminds residents that tests are viable in cases of symptoms and exposure as well as required testing for travel and elective medical procedures. “We’re still battling COVID and getting tested is one of the best ways to slow its spread,” Public Information Officer Hailey Bloom said…Read More

(September 1, 2021) – The Casper-Natrona County Health Department advises parents and employers to make plans for significant labor shortages as students and children are being quarantined after exposure to positive COVID cases in schools and daycares…Read More

(September 23, 2021) – The Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) is waiting for upcoming CDC and Wyoming Department of Health guidelines on issuing third doses of COVID vaccines and is prepared to act in accordance with these policies after they’re definitively announced and outlined by federal agencies…Read More

(September 24, 2021) – The Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) is issuing third doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine to eligible individuals at the Ford Wyoming Center (formerly Casper Events Center) Thursday, Sept. 30 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m…Read More

(October 1, 2021) – The Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) is issuing third doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine to eligible individuals at the Ford Wyoming Center (formerly Casper Events Center) Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturday, Oct. 30 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m…Read More

(October 22, 2021) – The Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) is issuing booster doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID vaccines to eligible individuals at the Ford Wyoming Center (formerly Casper Events Center) Saturday, Oct. 30 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m…Read More

(October 27, 2021) – The Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) is hosting COVID-19 booster vaccine clinics for eligible individuals Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Ford Wyoming Center (formerly Casper Events Center), then Nov. 4, 9, 16 and 18 at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds…Read More

(November 4, 2021) – Per the CDC and FDA’s emergency use authorization earlier this week, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) will administer Pfizer COVID vaccinations to children ages 5 to 11 Nov. 9, 16 and 18 at drive-through vaccination clinics…Read More

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