Governor again urges masks, distancing; responds to mask criticism - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Governor again urges masks, distancing; responds to mask criticism

A photo posted to the official page of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon shows the state leader at a Dubois 4th of July ceremony without a mask. The photo was the subject of criticism, among similar criticisms of state and civic leaders, over recommendation to wear masks and socially distance. Identities and photos from commenters have been redacted by Oil City. (Courtesy of Governor Mark Gordon Facebook copy)

CASPER, Wyo. —  Wyoming’s Governor Mark Gordon again urged the people of Wyoming to wear masks and social distance, in the wake of the coronavirus caused COVID-19 global pandemic, and also answered some critics who say the Governor isn’t practicing what he preaches.

“As much as I possibly can I try to wear a mask,” Governor Gordon said. “I know there’s a picture somebody showed me of the Republican Convention. You sit down for a meal, somebody you know walks up, and I didn’t put my mask on. The way I look at it, I wear the mask as much as I possibly can.”

The Governor’s statements on Wednesday, urging for Wyoming citizens to wear masks came after Gordon announced that Wyoming has suffered 21 COVID-19 related deaths, 26 lab confirmed cases announced statewide on Wednesday, and 1,104 total lab confirmed cases statewide since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Statewide numbers, including recoveries, are available below.

The Centers for Disease Control do advise people cover their mouths and noses with a cloth face covering while around others, and when social distancing is difficult.

From the CDC website:

You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.

The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

CDC website /

The Governor has expressed optimism since the early days of the stateside COVID-19 pandemic, saying that he believes that Wyoming people would “do the right thing.”

“It is important that we wear masks, that we take care when we’re out to social distance- all the things we’ve been taking about,” the Governor said.

Gordon said during the briefing that he attended a recent change of command event at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, which placed the need for masks and social distancing in a new perspective.

“I had the opportunity to talk about our readiness posture and how important it is to make sure that our airmen are safe, that our misseliers able to do their job, and that they aren’t compromised,” the Governor said. “To put a large number of our misseliers at risk of catching COVID, the challenge there would be immense. Our ability to meet the ever increasing challenges we see from Russia and China would be compromised.”

Gordon also went on to site the closure of child care facilities in Big Horn county as having a ripple effect that reached out beyond the facilities and children, expanding to parents and the co-workers and employers of those parents.

“I would love to say my behavior has been perfect. I am human,” the Governor said. “But it’s becoming increasingly important that we do this. People are kind of out making sure that their civic leaders are out doing the right thing at all times. I appreciate the criticism, I take it to heart. I will continue to try to do a better job every day of wearing a mask, and I do wear a mask quite often.”

Governor Mark Gordon takes off his mask at a June 8, 2020 Media Briefing (courtesy of Wyoming PBS YouTube)

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:

  • 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.