For two weeks, numerous public spaces in Wyoming will be closed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon made the decision Thursday, endorsing a decision by the state health officer. See his statement below:

The closure order extends through April 3 and includes schools, theaters, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, employee cafeterias, self-serve buffets, salad bars, unpackaged self-serve food services, gyms, conference rooms and museums. 

“This Governor has never been inclined to overstep local authority, but these are unprecedented times. It is critical that there is uniformity across the state in how social distancing measures are implemented,” Governor Mark Gordon said.

Restaurants will be closed to dine-in food service, but may remain open for curbside take-out or drive-through food service. Under the order, childcare centers will be closed except for those serving essential personnel. 

Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with the Wyoming Department of Health, said “We realize this action will be very difficult for many of our residents. But it is an important step to help them avoid becoming ill and to help them avoid spreading COVID-19 to those who are most vulnerable. We should all work together to help keep our friends and neighbors safe.”

Wyoming currently has 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the Wyoming Public Health laboratory has completed nearly 300 tests, as of March 19, 2020. 

A nationwide shortage of testing supplies is impacting Wyoming, like all states. Social distancing measures are the most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19, according to Dr. Harrist. 

 While most individuals will likely not experience serious illness related to COVID-19, older residents and people with certain health conditions put them at higher risk of developing a serious or life-threatening illness.

Governor Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon will host a fireside chat at 6:30 pm tonight to communicate directly with Wyoming citizens about COVID-19. The chat will be streamed live on the Governor’s Facebook page.

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