Governor issues statewide closure order of public spaces - Casper, WY Oil City News
Oil City News Logo

Governor issues statewide closure order of public spaces

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon is welcomed to the House Chamber during his 2020 State of the State address on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Cheyenne. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming State Health Officer have agreed on a closure of public spaces across the state for a two-week period.

“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,” said the release.

The order comes hours after Laramie County and Park County issued their own similar orders today.

Article continues below...

Natrona County Attorney Eric Nelson read the proposal during a press conference on Thursday afternoon, saying they had just received the proposal during the conference.

“This obviously has a big impact on what we’re doing here countywide,” said Nelson.”

Earlier in the conference, Casper mayor Steve Freel read his proposed closure plan, which is less restrictive to restaurants.

The proposal makes an exception on daycare for “essential personnel” workers, which was not clear who qualified at the time of the conference.

“We will be seeking additional clarification from the governor’s office of exactly what ‘essential personnel’ is,” said Natrona County Health Department executive director Anna Kinder said. “My first response would be healthcare providers, first responders, those individuals, but we will be looking to get clarification of what essential personnel is.”

The full release follows:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. –  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. 

“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. 

 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.

Governor Gordon, First Lady Jennie Gordon to host Fireside Chat at 6:30 pm tonight

Governor Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon will host a fireside chat at 6:30 pm tonight to communicate directly with Wyoming citizens about COVID-19. The chat will be streamed live on the Governor’s Facebook page.

Governor Mark Gordon’s Office

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org


  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.


The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:


What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org


  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.