An additional 252 Wyoming residents were confirmed to have COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, health officials announced Thursday afternoon.

That brings the state's total number of cases up to 8,537. More than 6,150 have recovered.

Sixty-eight Wyomingites have died from COVID-related causes.

Of the new confirmed cases, 29 are Natrona County residents. Currently, 311 Casper-area residents are infected with COVID-19.

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As state health officials announced the new cases and deaths, Casper Mayor Steve Freel addressed the surging cases on a local level. Specifically, he called on Casperites to wear masks and practice social distancing.

"Lets do the right thing, and get these numbers in our community under control," Freel said during a live-streamed news conference from City Hall.

Also on Thursday, health officials announced seven more Wyoming deaths from COVID-related causes.

They are:

  • A Crook County man died late last month in another state, where he likely contracted the virus. He had underlying health issues which put him at higher risk, but it is unsure if he was hospitalized.
  •  A Goshen County man died earlier this month after he was hospitalized. He also had health conditions that put him at higher risk.
  • A Campbell County man died earlier this month, but it is unclear if he was hospitalized or not. He had underlying health conditions that put him at higher risk.
  • A Uinta County woman died earlier this month. She was hospitalized in another state and was known to have underly health issues.
  • A Natrona County man died last week. He was hospitalized but was not know to have any health conditions which would have put him at higher risk.
  • A Laramie County woman, who was a resident of a long term facility, died earlier this week. She was not hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.
  • An Albany County man died earlier this week, and he was also a resident of a local long term care facility. He was hospitalized, yet it is unknown if he had any underlying health conditions.