Townsquare Media Cheyenne

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon says that while he doesn't have a problem with protests in the state, he would like protesters to wear face masks and social distance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Wyoming, like much of the country, has seen numerous protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minnesota. There have also been protests in Wyoming demanding that the state lift COVID-19 restrictions and ''reopen the economy.''

The governor posted a statement on his Facebook page about the protests:

''It’s refreshing to see citizens feeling free to express their First Amendment rights, as we have seen so often over the past month. I respect the right, and appreciate the intent of all those who have spoken out, even if it is against decisions I have made. This is America and everyone has a right to express their point of view.

I have not encouraged any actions by law enforcement to cite protesters for violating the state's health orders, as I recognize the importance of the ability to protest, both for Wyoming and our Nation. However, large gatherings of people do involve significant health risks and this risk has been identified both locally and nationally. I encourage those who chose to participate in peaceful protests to practice social distancing and wear face coverings as much as possible.

It is my hope and desire that we do not see additional infections and cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming due to the recent protests. Wyoming will carefully monitor the rate of infection over the next few weeks. We have made outstanding progress and I remain hopeful we are able to continue removing the very few remaining public health restrictions.

I am proud to express my hopes for the future, and our updated health orders allow Wyomingites to safely celebrate the 4th of July the way that all Americans should, with barbecues, parades, and other safe celebrations of our nation’s independence.''

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