Significantly updated statewide public health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic go into effect Tuesday and are now available online, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
Governor Mark Gordon described the planned major changes in an announcement earlier this week.
While the statewide order for mask use (Public Health Order #4) is ending, WDH recommends the continued use of face masks in indoor public places and when common-sense physical distancing cannot be maintained among people who don’t live in the same household.
“With fewer cases, hospitalizations and deaths at this point, our overall situation related to the pandemic is encouraging,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH. “But COVID-19 has not yet gone away so we need to act with caution and personal responsibility for a while longer to ensure progress in the right direction while our vaccination efforts continue.”
More than 127,000 individuals in Wyoming have received at least their first dose of vaccine when state and special federal counts are combined.
Harrist noted mask use and other requirements related to schools are not changing. “Keeping Wyoming’s students in classrooms remains a critical priority. It’s a setting where masks and other practices have clearly been effective,” she said.
Restrictions related to restaurants, bars, gymnasiums and theaters are being removed from the public health orders, and indoor school event requirements are being updated.
In addition, limitations on personal gatherings and restrictions on outdoor events are being removed. Indoor events of more than 500 people may be held at 50 percent of venue capacity with certain face mask protocols for large indoor events. The 50-person limit in organized sporting events and artistic performances will also be eliminated.
The updated orders, which go into effect March 16, can be found online at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-orders-and-guidance/.
“The free, safe and effective vaccines we have available are being administered throughout the state and are helping us get past this pandemic and closer to ‘normal,’” Harrist said. “I encourage everyone to get vaccinated when it is their turn.”
More information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/.
“Testing to identify COVID-19 infections is another important strategy to help ensure the pandemic doesn’t get away from us. We don’t want anyone with symptoms to hesitate to get tested,” Harrist said. “We’ve worked to support testing across the state and to add testing options.”
Wyoming offers free at-home COVID-19 testing. More information can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-at-home-testing/.