Governor Eases Restrictions on Restaurants, Loosens Quarantine Rules in Schools

Pokey's BBQ
Pokey's BBQ

Governor Mark Gordon announced late Tuesday afternoon new public health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic that will ease restrictions on restaurants. The new orders ]take effect October 1.

Restaurants will no longer be required to space out seating in booths and will also now allow for up to eight people at a table instead of six, according to a release from the Governor’s office. Larger tables are permitted for members of the same household, per the eased restrictions.

“Even in the face of a rising number of active cases, we recognize that the restaurant industry has faced challenges throughout this pandemic,” Governor Gordon said. “Nevertheless, they have really responded to ensure the safety of their customers. These are important steps that will help our restaurants recover and safely welcome more customers throughout the fall and winter.”

At Pokey’s Barbecue on South Douglas Highway, Anaiz, a manager who chose not to give her last name, said she’s glad to see the restrictions loosened a bit.

“We’ve had customers that would come in and have to leave because they couldn’t be seated, which is never good,” she said. “I’m glad to hear they’re letting things get back to normal.”

In addition to the relaxed restaurant restrictions, updated guidance to school districts will no longer require close contacts of infected individuals to quarantine if both the infected person and those in contact wore face masks. This order is specific to schools.

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The updated orders reflect data from the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) that shows that restaurant dining has not had a significant negative impact on the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The state is also in the process of updating its guidance to permit indoor visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to the release. The new guidance will be released later this week.

Wyoming has averaged 79 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the past two weeks, per the release. As of Tuesday, there have been 4,948 lab-confirmed cases in the state, along with 873 probable cases. Of the lab-confirmed cases, 3,984 have recovered. There have been 718 recoveries among patients considered probably infected. There have been 50 deaths attributed to the virus.

In Campbell County there have been 287 total lab-confirmed cases, with five new cases identified in the past 24 hours, per WDH data. There have been 36 additional probable cases. Of these cumulative cases, 236 have recovered, including 204 lab-confirmed patients and 32 probables. There has been one death in the county attributed to the complications from the virus.