Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced Monday morning the end of the statewide mask mandate due to the steady decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and active cases throughout the state.
The mask mandate will end effective Monday, March 16 as will all service restrictions on Wyoming bars, restaurants, theaters, and gyms, all of which will be allowed to resume normal operations, according to the announcement.
“I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic,” Gordon said in a statement. “It is through their efforts that we have kept our schools and businesses operating and our economy moving forward.”
Gordon’s announcement comes nearly four months after the mask mandate was originally implemented in December 2020, under the endorsement of several Wyoming medical associations amid warning from state hospitals and nursing homes that were reportedly seeing dramatic increases in active cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths.
While the mandate has ended, Wyoming residents are still asked to continue wearing face coverings voluntarily while inside public spaces and to comply with any mask requirements implemented by businesses, Gordon continued.
Additionally, mask requirements in the state’s K-12 school system will remain in place to protect the health of Wyoming students, Gordon stated.
“Wyoming is one of the few states in the country that kept students learning in the classroom for the entire school year,” Gordon said. “We made sacrifices, but the earlier orders saved lives. We persevered.”
With the initial phases in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine complete, new doses are coming available to restaurant, bar, gym, and theater workers as the statewide number of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline, according to the release.
Since November 2020, when the weekly average of new active COVID-19 cases approached 700, the number of new active cases has dropped steadily to only 49 as of March 4, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
As of March 8, there have been a total of 46,397 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, 460 of which currently remain active.