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Gordon signs executive orders rescinding COVID-19 emergency, addressing nursing staff shortage ’emergency’

Gov. Mark Gordon gives his state of the state address during the 2022 Wyoming State Legislature's joint session. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. —  Governor Mark Gordon signed two executive orders Monday, one rescinding an emergency and one enacting temporary measures to alleviate another.

Executive Order 2022-03 immediately rescinds Executive Order 2020-2, which declared COVID-19 a public health emergency in Wyoming two years and one day ago.

“Wyoming has done a wonderful job in persevering through the pandemic,” Governor Gordon said in a release Monday. “The emergency is over, but people’s responsibility to one another is not.”

“There is one lingering concern — Wyoming’s shortage of healthcare workers,” Gordon added. “This shortage includes nurses, and has existed long before COVID and was only exacerbated by the pandemic.”

To address this, Gordon has also signed an Executive Order to allow nurses and nursing assistants licensed in other jurisdictions to provide nursing care in Wyoming on a temporary basis. It takes effect Monday and will expire in 60 days.

The order encourages nurses and nursing assistants practicing under these provisions to immediately seek licensure in Wyoming, and also encourages the Wyoming Board of Nurses to expedite their applications for licensure “to the extent reasonable and feasible.”

The order also notes 380 vacant nursing positions across the state currently, and states that the shortage “has reached an emergency level, creating vulnerabilities within our health care system which impact the health safety of our state citizens.”

The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.