Governor Gordon: 'There is no constitutional right to infect someone else' - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Governor Gordon: ‘There is no constitutional right to infect someone else’

Governor’s Press Conference July 15, 2020 (Wyoming PBS, YouTube)

CASPER, Wyo. —  Wyoming’s Governor said that he was “sick and tired” of people showing a lackadaisical attitude toward the COVID-19 pandemic, during a briefing Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

The Governor said at the beginning of the briefing that had received notes and emails from people who displayed an attitude toward the virus that the Governor said he found offensive.

“I really feel badly, and I grieve along with their families, any of these people who die,” Gordon said. “So when somebody sends me a note that says ‘these people are going to die anyway, they’re just dying sooner,’ I gotta say- I’m offended. As an American, I think most people are going to be offended by the notion that ‘people should just get this COVID-19 and get it out of the way.’ I’m sick and tired of that.”

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The Wyoming Department of Health announced the death of a Sweetwater County man from complications of COVID-19, earlier this week. Wyoming’s total number of deaths related to COVID-19 is now at 22.

Further, the Wyoming Department of Health reports that 17 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized across the state as of Wednesday, July 15. COVID hospitalizations in Wyoming were at 14 on Tuesday and 17 on Monday. 

 24 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported as “laboratory confirmed” in Wyoming as of 3 pm Wednesday, July 15. That brings the total number of lab confirmed cases to 1,605, according to the WDH.

“Our nation needs to be open,” the Governor said Wednesday. “We need to behave in a way that is conscientious of one another. There is no constitutional right to infect somebody else. There is no constitutional right that says you can put others in harm’s way.”

“Let’s behave, and let’s be mindful of our neighbors,” Gordon said. “That’s the country I grew up in. That’s the neighborhood I grew up in.”

The Governor also unveiled an updated look at the State of Wyoming’s COVID-19 dashboard, noting that two of the categories have been changed to “concerning” status.

“New Cases and New Hospitalizations, this is new, sadly, are now ‘Concerning,'” the Governor said. “If you look at our hospitalization rate, you’ll see it is ticking up just like it was before. It is concerning. Doesn’t mean it’s dire, at this point. But it’s very concerning.”

Wyoming’s existing statewide COVID-19 public health orders were extended through July 31, according to an announcement this week from the WDH. There are various restrictions in the orders relating to public gatherings, restaurants, schools the use of face masks and more. The WDH notes that there have been minor changes. The orders allow gatherings of up to 50 people in confined spaces without restrictions and allow events of up to 250 people with social distancing and sanitization measures in place.

“We were well on our way to relieving all of our orders, and now we’re seeing these concerning trends,” the Governor said Wednesday. “I think this is related to people taking a more casual attitude toward what they can do to do the right thing, to make sure we keep our economy open. That we keep our friends and neighbors and grandparents safe.”

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.