Gordon signs two orders ending COVID-19 emergency, addressing healthcare staff shortages

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon (Governor Mark Gordon/Facebook)

GILLETTE, Wyo.—Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon on Monday signed an executive order bringing the state’s COVID-19 public health emergency to an end over two years after it was declared.

“Wyoming has done a wonderful job in persevering through the pandemic,” Gordon said in a March 14 statement, nearly two years to the day since the governor first put state health officials and communities on high alert at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the two years that followed, the number of COVID-19 cases in Wyoming climbed from its first confirmed case on March 11 to nearly 123,000 lab-confirmed cases as of March 15, 2022, per WDH data.

During that time, Wyoming weathered multiple COVID-19 variant cases, the most prominent of which proved to be the Delta variant with over 8,000 cases, WDH says.

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As of March 15, nearly half of the statewide population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, WDH continued, adding that nearly 657,000 total COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered.

But while the emergency is over, there is still some lingering concern for a shortage in healthcare workers, including nursing staff, that existed prior to COVID-19 but was exacerbated by the pandemic, Gordon said.

In response to this shortage, the governor also signed an executive order to address staffing shortages in state hospitals and healthcare facilities allowing nurses and nursing assistants licensed in other states to provide nursing care in Wyoming, per the statement.

Those nurses that come to Wyoming to render aid will now have time to get licensed in Wyoming while continuing to work, per Gordon, who said that the order is currently in effect and remain so for 60 days from March 14.