The new approach involves requiring face coverings in certain indoor public settings in all counties, reducing group sizes, and reducing hours of businesses where COVID-19 transmission is more likely to occur. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — Teton County, it appears, was ahead of the curve with its mask mandate aspect of health orders that were closely considered by state officials for their aggressiveness. Now with COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths on the rise across the state, several more jurisdictions are ramping up their health orders.

Back in July 2020, the town of Jackson became the first jurisdiction anywhere in Wyoming to enact a law requiring the use of face coverings in most public settings. Teton County eventually followed suit but, at the time, the protections went farther than state level orders and were considered overreach by some.

Albany County is the latest jurisdiction to enact a mandate requiring face-coverings when in public where 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained. That local law will go into effect this Friday. Laramie County and the Wind River Reservation also have mask mandates.

Albany County’s new order will be effective through the end of November as is Teton’s. Albany County is home to Laramie where a spike in cases at the University of Wyoming is responsible for much of that county’s 876 confirmed active cases.

Nearby Laramie County (871 cases) and Natrona (803 cases) are by far the hotspots across Wyoming.

Twelve more coronavirus-related deaths among Wyoming residents who had tested positive for COVID-19 were confirmed yesterday by the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH). Among Wyoming residents, there have now been 105 coronavirus-related deaths confirmed, 12,675 lab-confirmed cases and 2,369 probable cases reported since the pandemic began.

The recent spike has put Teton County back in the ‘red’ zone, or highest risk level.