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Governor Responds to Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Reduces Gathering Sizes

(Will Thomas)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:50 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Release) - In response to rising cases of COVID-19 and increasing strains on medical facilities, Governor Mark Gordon announced additional statewide measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19, ease the pressure on Wyoming’s healthcare system and preserve the viability of the state’s economy.

The new health orders issued by the State Health Officer will take effect on November 24. There are no business closures included in the new orders. They reduce the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings. These are part of a series of measures the state and counties are undertaking to respond to the new record levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations and surge in cases.

“These measures are intended to assist our healthcare system in meeting unprecedented demands for services, assure that in-classroom education can continue, and importantly keep Wyoming’s people working and her businesses open,” Governor Gordon said. “We have reached out extensively to our business community across the state and will continue to do so. We heard a clear message from them that they want to work cooperatively to ensure our economy, workforce and general public are healthy.”

The updated health orders include a change to Health Order No. 2 that limits indoor and outdoor gatherings to 25 persons or fewer without restrictions. If physical distancing measures are employed, gatherings for indoor events are limited to 25% of venue capacity with a maximum of 100 people.  Gatherings for outdoor events are limited to 50% of venue capacity with a maximum of 250 people. Faith-based gatherings are exempt.  Church services, funeral homes, parades and other specified businesses are some of the other exemptions to the gathering limits listed in the new orders. There are no changes to operations of K-12 Schools, child care facilities, restaurants and performance spaces, which are addressed in Health Order No. 1. Group workout classes at gyms will also be limited to 25 participants.

“We have said from the start that data would drive our approach,” the Governor said. “With this spike, we must respond to these new conditions. We have seen that larger gatherings are playing a role in the spread of this disease.”

The Governor has also announced that the state is providing additional support to Wyoming hospitals to address the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, including  resources from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Wyoming National Guard, and through travelling medical staff.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, the Governor is asking Wyoming residents to celebrate safely. “Thanksgiving is a special day for families. This virus is insidious and it strikes even at family gatherings where we are tempted to let our guard down,” he said. “Jennie and I encourage families to be careful this Thanksgiving and to keep gatherings smaller to protect their loved ones. We also wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.”

The Governor reminded residents to practice the three Ws – wash your hands, watch your distance and wear a face covering.

The new orders remain in effect until December 15 and may be revised earlier if needed. The orders are attached and also can be found on Wyoming’s COVID-19 website.

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