CODY, Wyo. - Wyoming is reporting hundreds of new coronavirus cases every day, and medical facilities are stretched to the max. As of this reporting, there are almost 6,900 active cases of the virus in the state, and there is no sign of a downturn at this point.

But the Wyoming Department of Health has offered all residents a new tool to help stay ahead of the virus: free testing kits, available through Vault Health. Park County Public Health Nursing Supervisor Bill Crampton says it’s one of the ways that people can take precautions.

"The State of Wyoming, the governor, and Dr. Harrist have worked together to work with a company called Vault," Crampton explains. "You can go online to the Wyoming Department of Health website and order one of these tests, which are free for residents of Wyoming, so long as you put in a Wyoming address."

This reporter was personally exposed to the virus and chose to use the Vault test. Within two days after requesting my test online, I received my kit in the mail. I then did a Zoom call with a telehealth representative, spit into the provided tube, prepared the sample for mailing, and received my results in less than 36 hours.

Although there is a wait time of several days, in which anyone exposed to the virus is urged to isolate until the results come back, Crampton points out that you’d have that wait time with most of the testing options anyway.

"For the most part, the only way you're going to get this free anymore (and that’ll eventually go away as well) is either through the drive-up testing, for which in Cody they’re still charging an administration fee, or through the State of Wyoming," Crampton said. "Either one of them waits."

Cody Regional Health officials clarify that all positive test results will be reported to the Wyoming Department of Health for further follow-up and add that testing is not recommended for those who have had a positive COVID test in the last three months.

Any Wyoming resident can order the test at www.health.wyo.gov or the Vault website at www.vaulthealth.com/covid.