Wyo4News Staff, [email protected]
CHEYENNE, WYOMING (September 24, 2020) — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said he was, “not interested in imposing additional health orders” today during a media briefing at the State Capitol Building in Cheyenne.
“I have contained to emphasize the importance of personal responsibility throughout this pandemic,” said Gordon.
“We know that COVID-19 is not going away this fall, or probably this winter either. I am not interested in imposing additional health orders because we know that things are working and that taking simple steps can help prevent transmission and protect our residents.”
Current health orders expire on September 30. Governor Gordon said he plans to announce new orders early next week, which include changes to restaurants, schools, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.
“We are looking at expanding the seating capacity of restaurants. We want to assure those businesses can adjust to the coming fall and winter, when outdoor dining will become difficult, if not less possible.”
State Health Officer Doctor Alexia Harrist spoke about some of the health order changes for schools, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.
According to Harrist, nearly 100 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in schools in both staff and students.
“To date, we are not aware of significant transmission in classrooms or other school settings where both the case and the close contacts were wearing face coverings,” Harrist said.
“As a result, we are changing our quarantine protocols for K-12 school settings. Specifically, we no longer recommend quarantine if potential school exposure occurs if both the infectious individual and close contacts are wearing face coverings.”
Quarantine will still be necessary for those exposed who were not able or did not wear a face covering.
According to Harrist, no schools have yet been forced to close due to the virus.
Harrist also said that she and her staff are working to modify public health orders to include indoor visitation guidelines for assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Changes have already taken place in Federal regulation. These changes now also permit indoor visitation.
“We recognize how important visitation with loved ones is,” Harrist said. “Yet we also recognize that it increases the risk that the virus can enter facilities and cause an outbreak. The more steps that we all take to lessen the spread within our communities, the safer it will be to be able to spend needed time with their families.”