Laramie County joined Teton County on Thursday in ordering the closure of businesses where people are likely to gather, including bars, theaters, museums and fitness clubs in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Dr. Stanley Hartman, Laramie County’s health officer, cited the three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Cheyenne in issuing the order to close the businesses throughout the county effective immediately.
“The emergency order recognizes the challenges that today’s public health order puts on many businesses in the county, but due to the rapid increase in cases it is necessary to begin closings (Thursday),” the order said.
“We recognize that these are extraordinary actions, but COVID-19 is a serious public health challenge,” Hartman said in a statement. “This decision was not taken lightly and will hopefully increase positive outcomes for our community.”
The action was supported by Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr and City Council President Dr. Mark Rinne.
The two noted in a prepared statement that COVID-19 appears to have a higher mortality rate and is more virulent than other virus strains.
“The worst-case scenario is that the disease spikes so rapidly that our ability to treat patients is overwhelmed,” the two said. “Those are the reasons that we have to take such aggressive measures.
“We want to express sympathy for those directly affected by this decision,” they continued. “We know that the next few weeks will be difficult for all of us. While we are disappointed in the decision to restrict businesses in Cheyenne, we understand the decision.”
Like the order in Teton County, the Laramie County order follows President Donald Trump’s recommendations for slowing the spread of the virus.
Businesses affected in Cheyenne, Pine Bluffs, Burns, Carpenter and Albin include:
Unpackaged self-serve food services
Golf courses and country clubs
The closure was also targeted at any other similar establishments or indoor recreational faciliites.
Restaurants may remain open under the order, but only for curbside takeout or drive-through service. All dine-in services will be prohibited.