Restaurants, schools, gyms and other public places will remain closed through Friday, April 17, according to a release from the Governor’s office early Friday afternoon, stating that the three existing statewide orders will remain in place to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.
“I have extended these orders in consultation with (State Health Officer) Dr. Harrist,” Governor Gordon stated in the release. “Because we’ve seen cases identified in additional counties and growth in the case numbers, it’s clear how important it is for us to take sustained action. I understand the ongoing strain that these measures are having on businesses, workers and Wyoming communities. But it is imperative that our citizens respond to this public health crisis by staying home whenever possible and practicing proper social distancing when they must go out. This is how we can save lives and protect people’s health.”
Along with public places remaining closed, the extension of the order also prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people in a single room or confined space, including outdoors, as well as the closure of personal services businesses like hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors.
Grocery stores will remain open and restaurants can continue to provide take-out and delivery services.
Dr. Harrist emphasized that the extension is necessary because it takes time for social distancing measures to effectively slow the spread of COVID-19 and provides additional time to assess the extent of outbreak in Wyoming.
“The best tool we have to reduce the potential burden on our healthcare system and save lives is for all of us to limit our contact with other people as much as possible,” Dr. Harrist said.
As of Friday afternoon, there were 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 13 counties in Wyoming, including one case in Campbell County.
More than 130 “possible positives” in County
Campbell County Public Health Information Officer Ivy Castleberry agreed it’s imperative that residents remain diligent, despite having only one confirmed case in the county who has since recovered. This number is low, she said, because they are only testing those who meet the criteria, including exhibiting symptoms, having had contact or recently traveling to an impacted region, or being within a high-risk or vulnerable demographic.
“Just because we only have one confirmed case,” Castleberry said, “doesn’t mean we don’t believe there are not more active COVID-19 cases in the community.”
Currently, there are 131 possible positive COVID-19 individuals and their family members in Campbell County, Castleberry said. These possible positives are those who meet the symptoms but who have not been tested but are deemed ‘suspicious’ for having the virus. These patients and their family members are being monitored by public health staff with daily check-ins twice a day in the same manner as someone who has tested positive.
“It’s important people continue taking this seriously and taking precautionary measures,” Castleberry said.
WDH announced this week that they will be distributing 2,600 additional test kits to counties throughout the state, with each county receiving at least 50 according to a formula based on population and other criteria, Castleberry said.