Governor allocates funds for Backwards, other Wyoming distillers making hand sanitizer - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Governor allocates funds for Backwards, other Wyoming distillers making hand sanitizer

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. —  Wyoming’s Governor, Mark Gordon, says that he has directed the Wyoming Business Council to allocate funding to assist Wyoming distilleries and breweries in efforts to produce hand sanitizer.

Gordon mentioned that some breweries and distilleries in Wyoming during an afternoon media briefing Monday March 23. The Governor’s office released a written statement on the subject Tuesday afternoon.

The Governor’s office says that Gordon is utilizing “Imminent Threat Grants” funds available through the Community Development Block Grant Program, or CDBG, to pay for the supplies distillers need in order to produce mass quantities of hand sanitizer in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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“This collaborative effort represents the Wyoming spirit we all know and love,” Gordon said. “Folks banding together in challenging economic times to support public health and advance the greater good. We also recognize that other industries are stepping up and that this situation is temporary.”

A nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer has impacted Wyoming as well, and the Governor’s office says that many distilleries and breweries across Wyoming are undertaking this initiative independently to assist community facilities and healthcare centers facing limited supplies.

“With business operations challenged by the impacts of coronavirus, Governor Gordon believed allocating Imminent Threat Grants funding was an appropriate way to support companies stepping forward to help the state during a time of need,” Gordon’s office says.

Wyoming distillers and brewers that have committed, and have the capability to contribute to this effort include Backwards Distillery (Casper), Koltiska Distillery (Sheridan), Chronicles Distilling (Cheyenne), Pine Bluffs Distilling (Pine Bluffs), Melvin Brewing (Alpine), Wyoming Whiskey (Kirby), and Jackson Hole Still Works and Grand Teton Distillery (Jackson).

“It is exciting to see the private and public sectors come together,” Wyoming Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said. “The WBC is here to help facilitate the collaboration of businesses and state agencies to cut red tape and act quickly and decisively.”


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.