Governor Gordon and State Health Officer issue statewide closure order for public spaces

WYOMING — Governor Mark Gordon has endorsed a decision by the Wyoming State Health Officer to close public places for a two-week period to help slow the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The closure order extends through April 3 and includes schools, theaters, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, employee cafeterias, self-serve buffets, salad bars, unpackaged self-serve food services, gyms, conference rooms, and museums. It’s similar to the county-wide order passed in Teton County Tuesday afternoon.

“This Governor has never been inclined to overstep local authority, but these are unprecedented times. It is critical that there is uniformity across the state in how social distancing measures are implemented,” Governor Mark Gordon said.

“Wyoming, like all Americans, must commit to reducing the strain on our healthcare system. These are hard measures and they will be difficult for employees and businesses alike, but they are warranted.”

Restaurants will be closed to dine-in food service, but may remain open for curbside take-out or drive-through food service. Under the order, childcare centers will be closed except for those serving essential personnel.

Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with the Wyoming Department of Health, said “We realize this action will be very difficult for many of our residents. But it is an important step to help them avoid becoming ill and to help them avoid spreading COVID-19 to those who are most vulnerable. We should all work together to help keep our friends and neighbors safe.”

Wyoming currently has 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the Wyoming Public Health laboratory has completed nearly 300 tests, as of March 19, 2020. Additional testing is occurring at commercial laboratories. A nationwide shortage of testing supplies is impacting Wyoming, like all states. Social distancing measures are the most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19, according to Dr. Harrist.

On last night’s Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow expressed her concern over seven states that don’t seem to be doing anything to curb the spread of coronavirus at all. Those states are Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, and Wyoming.

While most individuals will likely not experience serious illness related to COVID-19, older residents and people with certain health conditions put them at higher risk of developing a serious or life-threatening illness.

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