Governor Mark Gordon announced he is extending the state’s orders for social distancing through April 30.
In the same release sent Friday afternoon, he also directed a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving into Wyoming from another state our country. The order excludes work-related travel and is intended to reduce the spread of coronavirus by discouraging out-of-state visitation.
Earlier today, Natrona County Health Officer Dr. Mark Dowell told the Casper Star-Tribune he was considering asking for a county mandatory shelter-in-place order if the governor refuses to do so statewide.
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Gordon has repeatedly refused to issue a shelter-in-place order even as health officials in the state continue to push for stronger measures.
“The Governor continues to emphatically state that people need to stay home whenever possible to prevent or slow the spread of the virus,” said today’s release from the governor’s office.
The governor doubled down on his position after Dr. Dowell, an infectious disease specialist, told the Casper Star-Tribune he was “still advocating a shelter in place for this state.”
Earlier this week Dr. David Wheeler, President of the Wyoming Medical Society, also urged the governor to issue a shelter-in-place order.
“There are quite a few people doing ordinary activities,” Wheeler told Oil City News. “You drive up and down the street and see businesses with their lobbies open and people going in and out to do things that are clearly not to buy food or get needed healthcare.”
A shelter-in-place order would essentially prohibit all business that isn’t deemed essential, such as getting food or emergency medical care. Certain workers deemed essential would be exempt.
“I know that (the governor) fervently believes that the best thing people can do is to shelter-in-place and to only go out when absolutely necessary,” said Wheeler, “but for him at this point the political reality of an order like that means that it’s not something he’s comfortable with doing today.”
The governor is scheduled to speak today during a live web briefing at 3 p.m. The live video will be available at Wyoming PBS.
Dr. Dowell’s comments and the governor’s travel orders have been clarified after this story was published earlier.
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: firstname.lastname@example.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.