(AP) - Wyoming Medical Center in Casper has had to turn away patients from outside Natrona County at times this winter because it didn't have enough free beds.

It's rare for the hospital to have all its beds full, but officials say it's happened multiple times in the past few months as flu, norovirus and other illnesses circulated through the community.

Hospital officials say it's necessary to divert out-of-county patients to ensure local people continue to receive treatment when they fall ill.

Hospital President Vickie Diamond tells the Associated Press the hospital has been full more times in the past two months than any other time in her eight years with the organization.

Wyoming Medical Center is licensed for 192 beds.

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