Tyler Johnson, [email protected]
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (February 22, 2021) – Wearing masks in public may continue longer than expected.
According to Sweetwater County Public Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon, the end to wearing masks is a “moving target, especially now that we have variants.”
Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated that it is possible that Americans may need to wear masks well into 2022.
Stachon didn’t go as far as saying that masks must be worn until 2022, but she said masks have helped with lower the number of cases in Sweetwater County and keep businesses open.
“Mask mandate easing up is yet to be determined, at least until summer,” Stachon said. “Masks have kept our county open for the schools, trona mines, businesses and restaurants. Counties that had no mask mandate, especially for schools, have changed to having a mask mandate.”
Dr. Cielette Karn, Medical Director of Sweetwater Memorial’s Department of Pathology, said that there has not been reported flu cases with students and she believes masks have a large part in that.
Karn even said that they might rethink on how schools prepare for the flu season with students continuing to wear masks.
Governor Mark Gordon has recently eased back on health restrictions, allowing more people to attend indoor and outdoor public events.
The new health orders, which began on Feb. 15, allows indoor gatherings that incorporate social distancing and face coverings are permitted for up to 25 percent of capacity or 500 persons, and outdoor gatherings of up to 1,000 persons. In addition, sporting events, artistic performances, restaurants and gyms all will see capacity limits eased.
With events like Flaming Gorge Days and the Sweetwater County Fair approaching and preparation beginning, Stachon said the events may go on, but that they will look different. All in all, it is too early to determine.
“We’re trying to figure out how to get through May and graduation before we can even determine Flaming Gorge Days or the Sweetwater County Fair, which are a little too far away. The events will probably happen but look different,” she said.