The federal government is distributing $560 million to state and local agencies to support their response to the outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the new coronavirus, which continues to spread within the United States and around the world.

Wyoming will receive over $4.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Wednesday's announcement, there were still no confirmed cases of the virus in Wyoming.

But a day earlier, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced five confirmed cases and one death in her state.

"State and local health departments are on the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we are deeply grateful for their work," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in announcing the funding Wednesday. "CDC is distributing this new funding extremely rapidly, as called for by Congress."

"These funds will allow public health leaders to implement critical steps necessary to contain and mitigate spread of the virus in communities across the country," CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., said.

Natrona County officials held a news conference Wednesday morning, emphasizing that there is no need for Wyomingites to panic. They also encouraged people to wash their hands and use typical, effective methods of virus prevention.

For the latest information from the CDC on the COVID-19 outbreak, click here.

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