In only one month of existence, the all-volunteer Wyoming Technology
Coronavirus Coalition (WTCC) has grown from a handful of members to more than 300 people, all of them working steadily to do whatever they can to confront the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Celebrating that first brief milestone, founder Eric “ET” Trowbridge of Array, Inc. in Cheyenne announced the achievements of the Coalition’s initial projects:
Supply Drives: In Laramie and Casper, volunteers collected and distributed to medical facilities across the state:
• 35,730 gloves;
• 541 N-95 masks;
• 302 other types of masks;
• 127 goggles or other facial protection;
• 119 gowns; and
• an uncounted number of sanitizing products.
3D-Printed Facial Protective Equipment: A coordinated network of 3D-printers in maker spaces around the state have created and delivered more than 2,000 parts (762 masks, 473 face shields, and 773 face shield visors) to over 23 clinics and hospitals in Wyoming.
Hand-Sewn Face Masks: Volunteers with sewing experience have created over 1,000 custom-made masks and have distributed them to individuals and medical facilities.
Help for Service-Industry Workers: Via a link on the WTCC website, people who enjoy take-out orders from Wyoming restaurants can donate tips to out-of-work service employees in 9 Wyoming cities (Casper, Cheyenne, Cody/Powell, Gillette, Jackson, Lander/Riverton, Laramie/Snowy Range, Rock Springs/Green River, and Wheatland). WTCC is seeking volunteers to add more Wyoming towns to this list.
Telemedicine App: The Array School in Cheyenne, in partnership with the WTCC, has created an app that allows people across the state to arrange remote visits with physicians at Stitches Acute Care Center which has clinics in Wyoming and Colorado. The Stitches app is compatible with both IOS and Android devices.
“We have so many things to celebrate,“ said Trowbridge on a YouTube video created on April 17. “None of us are getting paid …. We’re doing it because we understand the severity [of the pandemic] and how important it is
that all of us do our part.”
During the first month, members of WTCC have been featured in the PBS series “American Portraits.” The PBS documentary includes lengthy videos by 13 WTCC volunteers, speaking about how the Coalition has helped to give meaning to their experience during the pandemic.
During his video presentation, Trowbridge announced the next major effort for WTCC: To provide the opportunity for everyone in Wyoming to be tested for the virus by July 1, whether it be a swab test for the presence of the virus itself or a different test that can identify people who have recovered or have been exposed but never showed symptoms.
The coalition intends to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for its project by May 17, Trowbridge said, adding that the WTCC doesn’t intend to take on this effort entirely alone. There are multiple entities that will need to be involved or included, such as the Wyoming Department of Health, the Governor’s Task Force on COVID-19, the University of Wyoming, and private labs. WTCC is has been forging these relationships within recent weeks and welcomes other interested groups to reach out to us.
“Even if it has a one or a five percent probability of actually happening,” he added, “what can we do and what sort of resources do we need to apply? That’s the big question that we are assembling our volunteers to help answer.”
The goal is to know where and how fast the virus is spreading, Trowbridge explained, so that Wyoming knows how to reboot its economy safely.