Good afternoon. Today is Saturday, March 28. Welcome to Cowboy State Daily’s Wyoming Coronavirus blog. We will keep you updated throughout the day with everything related to the coronavirus in Wyoming. Bookmark us and check back often. Have a tip? Email us at news@CowboyStateDaily.com
Friday, March 27. 3:04pm
Flurry of Activity in the Governor’s Office
Lots of action (and inaction) in the governor’s office today. The remaining bills from this past budget session either were signed into law, vetoed, or went into law without a signature. Here’s a recap:
Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday vetoed a bill aimed at guaranteeing medical care for any child born alive after an attempted abortion.
The bill was one of four vetoed by the governor as he took action on the final 11 bills on his desk from the Legislature’s recent budget session.
The “Born alive infant” bill, Senate File 97, would require that doctors “shall take medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of an infant born alive” after an unsuccessful abortion.
The bill was approved in the House by a vote of 44-16 and in the Senate by a vote of 23-7.
But Gordon, in his veto message, said the legislation was unnecessary because existing law guarantees appropriate medical care.
“This bill will not do anything to improve on those laws which already exist,” he wrote.
Also vetoed was Senate File 138, a bill which would have laid out the process for evaluating the state’s possible purchase of land in southern Wyoming from Occidental Petroleum.
Gordon said the original version of the bill would have allowed the executive branch to conduct “due diligence” on the possible purchase, but the bill was changed in the legislative process.
“The end result is a vehicle so heavily laden with legislative baggage that the ability to conduct thorough and appropriate due diligence takes a back seat to mandated reports and recommendations,” he wrote.
Gordon also said because the Legislature defeated a companion measure, which would have provided the funding for the evaluation, he could not approve the bill.
The executive branch will continue to research the possible purchase and will report back to the Legislature with its conclusions, he added.
A bill that would have established a pilot project for the state to use Medicaid funds for some special education expenses was also vetoed.
Taking effect without Gordon’s signature was a bill addressing a dispute between the city of Cheyenne and the Frontier Days Rodeo over the expense for security during the 10-day rodeo.
Cheyenne officials have said they need Frontier Days to cover part of the expense of security and have said without the assistance, they may withhold the rodeo’s liquor license.
Senate File 134 would allow Frontier Days to obtain its liquor license directly from the state and bypass the city.
Gordon said he is not sure that the Legislature should be getting involved with local disputes.
“As governor, I hold sacred the belief that governments govern best when they govern least and when they remain closest to the people,” he wrote. “This bill interferes with local prerogative. Furthermore, it seeks to solve a problem that has not existed outside of one jurisdiction.”
Friday, March 27. 1:32pm
Maintaining Six Feet of Distance in a Grocery Store
We’ve all heard the mandate about staying six-feet from other people. But, if you are in a grocery store, is that possible?
We support, wholeheartedly, the recommendation. We’re overdoing it. None of us here at Cowboy State Daily work in a common office. We’re all telecommuting.
We noticed the City of Cheyenne published a graphic which details what to do in a grocery store.
– Limit trips to the grocery store.
– Sanitize your cart or basket.
– Give other shoppers six feet of space.
– Wave hello — don’t stop and chat with others for long.
– Keep aisles clear and don’t crowd.
– Allow workers to stock the shelves.
– If you are sick, don’t go into stores. Use services like pick-up or have someone shop for you.
All good advice. We’ve been out to the stores and we’ve seen good behavior. The toughest challenge, however, is — with the tight aisles — giving other shoppers six feet of space.
Commenters on the site had useful suggestions. David Smith offers: “Carry a baseball bat and you will have six feet with no problem.”
Friday, March 27. 12:17pm
Is Your Internet Slowing Down? It’s Not Your Imagination
Now that we are all hunkered-down, most of us are online — a lot.
We’re thankful that we upgraded our service to the highest-possible a few months ago and that’s really helped as we
watch Netflix work.
If you are noticing a significant slowing of the Internet across the Cowboy State, you’re not alone. It’s happening everywhere.
Nokia (remember that phone from the 90s) is still around and they are reporting some Internet networks are close to being overwhelmed.
“Globally, service providers are starting to see the increased strain and are approaching the capacity on some peering links and edge routers,” Nokia said.
Then they bring you down to earth and say “don’t panic” with an ominous caveat:
“They can add more capacity, which is easily done,” Nokia said. “Networks are handling traffic well — so far.”
As long as it doesn’t affect our ability to
watch Ozark Season 3 tonight post articles tonight, we’re not worried.
Still interested, here’s the article.
And remember, the Internet is a series of tubes.
Friday, March 27. 11:23am
Are You Tired of Kanye West Articles Yet?
Of course, you knew that once the rapper/entrepreneur moved to Wyoming there would be plenty of press coverage.
Some of it is good and interesting. Some of it is horrific and created by clickbait content farms.
We try to ignore those and will only call out the quality journalism. Because, like it or not, Kanye is incredibly newsworthy. He’s genuinely interesting and we like to see that the townspeople of Cody have really welcomed him to Wyoming.
Saying all that, we particularly enjoyed this piece in the Wall Street Journal: The Creation and the Myth of Kanye West.
From the article:
“Last fall, West opted for a change of scenery after a stay at the Amangani resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
“He purchased a 4,000-acre sheep ranch near Cody, Wyoming, and then a second working ranch nearby.
“In Wyoming, West saw the potential to establish a headquarters for Yeezy and to pursue his projects in a less restrictive environment than California—a place to eventually employ former prisoners in apparel factories, and to test housing concepts for which he’d received pushback from Los Angeles County officials, who made him tear down his prototypes.
“By November, he was chartering a Monday-morning flight from Van Nuys to bring his pattern makers and design team to Cody, putting them up for the week in motels and then flying them back to Los Angeles on Fridays.”
To read the rest of the article, click here. Sadly, we believe the article is behind the paywall. If you have a subscription, however, enjoy!
Friday, March 27. 10:01am
Answering Questions About Coronavirus
If you are following everything there is about the pandemic (we are), you may be surprised that there is still pretty basic stuff out there that people aren’t aware of.
But that’s good perspective. Repeat, repeat, repeat as they say.
Our friends over at Wyoming Public Media just published an exhaustive Q&A about the virus.
It answered one of the questions we had which is: Can the virus be spread from the fur of a pet. The answer? According to the CDC, “At this time, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets.”
So maybe we will take the dog to the groomers after all.
Friday, March 27. 9:30am
Dave Simpson: Still Hunkering Down in Wyoming
If you haven’t read columnist Dave Simpson’s piece yet on maneuvering around the coronavirus in Wyoming, give it a shot.
He tells us that he has 19 rolls of toilet paper left (he’s counting) and will go get a 12-pack (of toilet paper) when it becomes available.
He also talks about self-distancing in general and what it has meant to him, IE: No gym, lots of reading, and lots of housework.
Speaking of housework, a friend of Cowboy State Daily posted about that the other day.
Thursday, March 26. 12:20 p.m.
Wyoming Coronavirus Cases Mostly Seen In Ages 60-69
The majority of Wyoming’s coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in people age 60 to 69, according to the state Department of Health.
The department’s statistics on the coronavirus outbreak showed that of the 53 cases confirmed in the state as of Thursday morning, 26% were found in people age 60 to 69. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 26. 11:12 a.m.
Health Department: 12 Recover From Coronavirus
Twelve of the people diagnosed with coronavirus in the state have recovered, according to the Department of Health.
The department reported on Thursday that of the 53 confirmed cases in the state, 12 individuals have been released from isolation. Kim Deti, a spokeswoman with the Department of Health, said the department considers someone “recovered” when they have gone 72 hours without a fever and have seen improvements in any respiratory problems.
The department did not specify where the recoveries occurred. however, Sheridan County health officials announced that all four of the people infected with coronavirus in that county have fully recovered and are no longer in isolation.Earlier this week, Fremont County officials announced that two of the 14 people with the illness in their county had also recovered. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 26. 10:25 a.m.
All Four Sheridan County Coronavirus Patients Recovered
All four of the people in Sheridan County diagnosed with coronavirus have recovered, according to county health officials.
The county’s Health Department, in its daily coronavirus update, said all four of the patients have ended their self-isolation.
Dr. Ian Hunter, the county’s health officer, urged all those who may have traveled outside of Sheridan recently to strongly consider quarantining themselves for two weeks. Earlier in the week, Fremont County officials announced that two of the county’s coronavirus patients had also recovered. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 26. 10 a.m.
Coronavirus Cases Climb to 53 in Wyoming
The first case of coronavirus in Johnson County was diagnosed on Thursday as the state’s total case load increased to 53.
Increases Thursday morning were also seen in Laramie County, where the count rose by two, and in Teton County, which saw one new case added to its numbers. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 26. 7:09am
Coronavirus Cases Set At 49 In Wyoming
The number of coronavirus cases in Wyoming grew to 49 on Wednesday, with 10 new cases reported as of 9 p.m.
The Wyoming Health Department reported the newest cases were seen in Natrona, Albany, Teton, Laramie and Fremont counties. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 25. 3:15 p.m.
Wyoming Coronavirus Cases Grows to 44
The number of coronavirus cases in Wyoming grew to 44 on Wednesday, with seven new cases reported as of 3 p.m.
The Wyoming Health Department the newest cases were seen in Albany and Teton counties. The one new case was the first for Albany County, while two more new cases were reported in Teton County, bringing its total to five.
Earlier in the day, three new cases had been reported in Laramie County and one new case was seen in Fremont County. Fremont County still has the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 13. Laramie County has 11, while Teton has five, Natrona and Sheridan counties each have four, Carbon County has three and there is one case each in Albany, Campbell, Park and Sweetwater counties.
Wednesday, March 25. 3 p.m.
Gov. Gordon Urges Residents to Stay Home to Prevent Virus Spread
The only way Wyoming residents will be able to avoid further restrictions on their actions will be to comply with the three orders now in place designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Mark Gordon said Wednesday.
Gordon, speaking during a news conference, said the state orders closing businesses and prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people have all been issued only after careful consideration. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 25. 2:55 p.m.
F.E. Warren Air Force Base Implementing HPCON Charlie
F.E. Warren Air Force Base announced Wednesday that it increased the number of restrictions in place to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Base officials, in a news release, announced the base is now under “Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie.” [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 25. 2:19 p.m.
Wyoming Episcopal Church Committing $1M for Coronavirus Relief Efforts
Wyoming’s Episcopal Churches are committing $1 million in support of Wyoming relief efforts for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming held an emergency meeting, where members of the board of directors of diocese’s foundation agreed to the donation. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 25. 12:34 p.m.
Campbell County Patient Speaks Out About Virus
Campbell County’s first and only documented case of coronavirus says she’s “fine,” encourages community to stay home to slow the spread
“So, I’m the lone COVID-19 patient who has tested positive in Campbell County,” the Gillette wife and working mom told County 17, light-heartedly, via Facebook messenger Monday afternoon. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 25. 12:18 p.m.
Gordon Issues Executive Order Granting 90-Window for Renewing Driver’s Licenses
Gov. Mark Gordon announced Tuesday that he signed an executive order granting a reprieve for those with expired driver’s licenses.
There’s a catch, though: the window for expired licenses is from March 15 to June 1. Any person whose driver’s license expires in that period will have 90 days to get the license renewed. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 25. 12 p.m.
Lander Gin Distiller Speaks About Making Hand Sanitizer
Paul McCown, owner of Huck Gin in Lander, has written about his experience pivoting from his dream of making gin to working on hand sanitizer to help Wyoming residents. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 25. 8:45am
Coronavirus Case Count Rises To 41
Detection of an eleventh case of coronavirus in Laramie County raised the state’s total to 41 on Wednesday, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
The announcement marked the diagnosis of the third case for the day in Laramie County. Fremont County also reported one new case.
The news came one day after the diagnosis of Sweetwater County’s first case on Tuesday.
“We would like for this to be our one and only case, but we are aware this likely will not be the situation,” said Kristy Nielson, chief nursing officer for Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.
Fremont County still has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state at 13. Laramie County has 11, while Natrona and Sheridan counties each have four, Carbon and Teton counties have three and there is one case each in Campbell, Park and Sweetwater counties.
Tuesday, March 24. 4:45pm
Governor Closes Down More Small Business Due to Coronavirus
Governor Mark Gordon and State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist have issued a third statewide order, closing non-essential personal services.
The order goes into effect tomorrow, March 25, and extends through April 3.
The order is focused on businesses where appropriate social distancing measures are not practical. The closure applies to nail salons, hair salons and barber shops; cosmetology, electrology and esthetic services; massage parlors; and tattoo, body art and piercing shops. Medically necessary services such as physical therapy providers may remain open. [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 24. 4:04 p.m.
Eighth case found in Laramie County, 30th in state
An eighth coronavirus case was detected in Laramie County on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 30.
According to a news release from the City of Cheyenne, the latest case was found in a patient in their 40s who had contact with another person who has tested positive for the virus.
Fremont County continues to be the state’s hardest hit county with 10 cases, followed by Laramie County’s eight. Four were reported in Sheridan, two each were seen in Teton, Carbon and Natrona counties and one case was reported in each of Park and Campbell counties. The Tuesday total leaves 15 of the state’s counties without a confirmed coronavirus case.
Tuesday, March 24. 1:41 p.m.
WBC to help distilleries buy supplies for hand sanitizer
The Wyoming Business Council was directed Tuesday to provide funding assistance to Wyoming distilleries manufacturing hand sanitizer.
Gov. Mark Gordon, in a news release, said he directed the WBC to make grants available to help distilleries buy the supplies they need to make sanitizer.
“This collaborative effort represents the Wyoming spirit we all know and love,” he said. “Folks banding together in challenging economic times to support public health and advance the greater good. We also recognize that other industries are stepping up and that this situation is temporary.”
A number of Wyoming distilleries have committed to produce sanitizer to help make up for shortages, including Backwards Distillery in Casper, Koltiska Distillery in Sheridan, Chronicles Distilling in Cheyenne, Pine Bluffs Distilling, Melvin Brewing in Alpine, Wyoming Whiskey in Kirby and Jackson Hole Still Works and Grand Teton Distillery in Jackson.
Tuesday, March 24. 12:22 p.m.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks closed until further notice
Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are closed to all park visitors until further notice, effective immediately, a news release issued Tuesday said.
State highways and/or roads that cross park/state boundaries and lead to facilities that support life, safety and commerce will remain open. Both parks will cooperate on the implementation of the closures. Updates will be provided from both of the parks.
“The National Park Service listened to the concerns from our local partners and, based on current health guidance, temporarily closed the parks,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly and Grand Teton Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail in the release. “We are committed to continued close coordination with our state and local partners as we progress through this closure period and are prepared when the timing is right to reopen as quickly and safely as possible.”
The parks encouraged people to take advantage of various digital tools available to learn more about each.
Tuesday, March 24. 12:01 p.m.
Three of four Sheridan County coronavirus patients recovered
Three of the four people diagnosed with coronavirus in Sheridan County have recovered and have ended self-isolation, the county announced.
The Sheridan County Incident Management Team announced Monday evening that only one of the four people diagnosed with the illness remains in isolation. That individual is self-isolating at home and is being monitored by the Sheridan County Public Health Department.
Fremont County officials announced Monday that two of the 10 coronavirus patients in their county had also recovered.
Tuesday, March 24. 11:05am
President Trump Town Hall Meeting Has Begun
The president is hosting a town hall meeting from the Rose Garden in the White House. Click here to watch it live.
Tuesday, March 24. 10:03am
‘Not Helpful’: Fauci Calls Out Media for ‘Pitting’ Him Against Trump
This is an interesting article from National Review this morning.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is not happy with the media for trying to pit him against the president.
He told Washington, DC radio station WMAL: “I would wish that that would stop, because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences,” he said. “Really, fundamentally at the core, when you look at things, there are not differences.” [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 24. 9:30am
Catching Up on Cowboy State Daily
Good morning all. As you know, we’ve got a lot going on. Keep checking back to the site to see the latest stories and we’ll keep this blog moving along as well.
The purpose of the blog is a more conversational way of covering the coronavirus news. We’ll link to our stories and we’ll link to other stories here in Wyoming. And we’ll occasionally link to stories outside of the state as well.
Interesting map in the New York Times today. The map shows which states and cities have told residents to stay at home.
It’s easy to politicize this stuff and cast blame one way or the other. We bring up the map simply because it’s interesting. Policies are obviously different when you have cities and states which have higher densities.
Anyway, the New York Times have taken down their paywall for much of their coronavirus coverage. So take a look at it, if you’d like.
Tuesday, March 24. 8:23am
Trump to Hold Online Town Hall
In case you haven’t heard, President Trump will be hosting an online town hall to discuss the coronavirus. Here is a link where you can watch the town hall.
It is supposed to begin at 10am (Mountain) but we understand it is going to be a bit late. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUz7GXgVmTg
Tuesday, March 24. 8:01am
Good News in the State of Wyoming
Good morning, Wyoming. Couple interesting posts today that shows you what’s happening around the state.
Park County has some good news. The Park County Health Officer is cautiously optimistic because the county is the only county in the state where a case of COVID-19 hasn’t turned in a cluster. You can check out that story here.
Over in Campbell County, there was an online town hall meeting Sunday which attracted over 4,000 people. That’s pretty incredible and shows you the power of technology. Bring people together in a setting that is safe and informative. You can check out that story (courtesy of County 17) here.
Tuesday, March 24. 6:45am
Latest Wyoming Coronavirus Count
The number of coronavirus cases in Wyoming grew to 29 on Monday night as Health Department officials reported a new case in Natrona County.
The new case bring’s Natrona County’s total to two.
We will keep you updated here on Cowboy State Daily every time there is a new case. Thanks for checking in with us!
Tuesday, March 24. 6:36am
Wyoming Weather Forecast
Good morning, everyone! Hope your self-distancing is going well. You just can’t start the day without watching Don Day.
He’s got our weather forecast for the day plus he looks into a comet that is heading our way. And if it doesn’t break-up, it should be fantastic to watch.
Monday, March 23. 6:24pm
Wyoming Coronavirus Count Increases to 28
Gov. Mark Gordon just released this statement: We have confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19 in the state today– one in Laramie County and one tentatively identified as a Carbon County resident.
Monday, March 23. 4:48pm
Gordon: Wyoming May Put More Restrictions in Place
The impacts of the coronavirus in Wyoming are likely to last far beyond two weeks and the state may have to put more restrictions in place to slow the spread of the virus, Gov. Mark Gordon said Monday.
“I will say this isn’t going to be over in two weeks,” he said. “This is going to impact life in Wyoming for a long time to come. We are going to have community spread (of the virus), but the actions people take now will make a difference.” [READ MORE]
Monday, March 23. 3:07pm
Cheyenne Schools Create Contingency Plans In Case Closures Go Beyond April 3
Cheyenne schools are preparing a contingency plan in case the coronavirus pandemic causes schools to be closed beyond April 3.
If the closure remains in effect, students will begin remote learning April 6. At that time, new material will be taught. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 23. 1:58pm
Furious Barrasso Slams Democrats For Blocking Coronavirus Aid Package
On the Senate floor, Barrasso slammed Democrats for blocking a vote on a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package designed to provide economic assistance in the face of business closures forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m a doctor,” Barrasso said. “I’ve been on the phone with doctors across the country, with my colleagues at the Wyoming Medical Center. They are working double-time and through the weekend.
“Day and night, the nurses, the doctors, the health care providers, they need help,” Barrasso said. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 23. 1:12pm
Lander Emergency Room Doctor” I Am Really Afraid We Could Be Overwhelmed”
Family nurse practitioner Kristy Brown Cardinal at Lander Medical Clinic posted this on her Facebook page today. She said it is a note from Dr. Tom Rangitsch who is an Emergency Room physician at Sage West Medical Center in Lander. This post is from this morning:
I don’t want to sound like a harbinger of doom. There has been quite enough of that lately and I wish I could focus on the positive. But the situation in my small-town hospital is not rosy.
We are seeing increasing cases, sick people with bad disease. It’s affecting people who are not old and who do not have underlying illnesses.
I am really afraid that we could be overwhelmed at some point in the not so distant future. The nurses and the doctors here are doing exceptional work and should be commended for their care and compassion. We are being constantly exposed and we don’t have a deep bench to draw from when we foul out.
It is very difficult for those who have been affected with loss of employment and the opportunity for social interaction. But we need to try to flatten the curve.
Please do your part to prevent the spread of this terrible disease. I hope I am wrong and this is just my pessimistic nature looking at the negative side of things. It’s been a rough night for me and maybe I’ll have a better outlook tomorrow.
Monday, March 23. 12:38 p.m.
Two Fremont County Patients Have Recovered
Two of the 10 Fremont County coronavirus patients have fully recovered, authorities said Monday.
Those two patients have been released from isolation, according to the Fremont County Incident Management Team. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 23. 12:21 p.m.
Wyoming Voices Speak Out About Coronavirus
Lots of columns this morning. Already, we’ve posted a column from our publisher, Bill Sniffin, on reactions around the state of Wyoming to the self-distancing from the coronavirus outbreak.
We received a column from Worland’s John Davis discussing the impact of the virus in the Big Horn Basin.
“I had convinced myself that we in the Big Horn Basin, who are undeniably located in one of the most remote corners of the continental United States, would not be hit hard by the coronavirus. Well, this fantasy has been completely abolished in the last week,” he writes.
He also looks back at the 1918 Spanish Flu and how it affected the area.
And we just had a op-ed sent to us from Harriet Hageman, a Republican candidate for governor, who says we have to start thinking about how Wyoming positions itself in a post-Coronavirus world.
Harriet is a straight-shooter. She writes: “This catastrophe has exposed the fact that we have exported many of our most important manufacturing capabilities to hostile countries that do not have our best interests at heart and who will propagandize throughout a disaster while blaming us for their failures.”
On the way, we’ll post the latest from Cat Urbigkit who always provides a fantastic read.
Sunday, March 22. 5:06pm
Cheyenne Records Sixth Positive COVID-19 Case
The Cheyenne/Laramie County Health Department received notification of an individual testing positive for COVID-19. The individual is in their 50s and lives in Cheyenne.
The individual has had contact with another patient who previously had tested positive and will be quarantined at home. [READ MORE]
Fifth Positive COVID-19 Case in Cheyenne
The Cheyenne/Laramie County Health Department received notification of an individual testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.
The individual is in their 20s and lives in Cheyenne. The individual has no known close contact with any others who have tested positive and is being quarantined at home.
Laramie County now has five official cases, all of which are in Cheyenne.
Saturday, March 21. 10:15
Liz Cheney to Chinese Foreign Ministry: “How About You Stop Eating Bats?”
Liz Cheney isn’t a fan of the Chinese government’s spin on the coronavirus outbreak.
Saturday, March 21. 9:15am
Wyoming Records 23rd Coronavirus Case
Wyoming’s coronavirus case count increased to 23 Saturday as the Wyoming Department of Health reported a newly diagnosed case in Carbon County.
According to the Health Department, by Saturday morning, 409 tests had been processed at the state Public Health Laboratory and commercial labs had conducted 31 tests. [READ MORE]
Saturday, March 21. 8:40am
Gov. Gordon Signs Executive Order to Expedite Delivery of Coronavirus Supplies
Gov. Mark Gordon signed an executive order on Friday that will expedite the commercial transportation of coronavirus-related supplies to communities in Wyoming and throughout the country.
Executive Order 2020-3 extends hours of service restrictions and waives size and weight permit fees if a commercial vehicle is transporting coronavirus supplies. This applies to drivers transporting essential emergency relief supplies to affected areas to provide aid, comfort and security. [READ MORE]
Saturday, March 21. 7:53am
Wyoming Coronavirus: New Order Prohibits Gatherings Of 10 Or More People
Gatherings of 10 or more people in Wyoming have been prohibited by an order of the state’s health officer.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, in an order issued Friday, prohibited groups of more than 10 from gathering in one area until at least April 3. [READ MORE]
Friday March 20. 9:02pm
Coronavirus Count Rises To 22 With New Cases In Natrona, Teton Counties
The number of coronavirus cases in Wyoming grew to 22 Friday night as the Wyoming Department of Health reported new cases in Natrona and Teton counties.
The reports brought to four the number of new cases reported on Friday. Earlier in the day, new cases were reported in Campbell and Fremont counties.
No information was available on any of the new cases.
The cases were the first for Natrona and Campbell counties. As of Friday evening, Teton County’s case total was two and Fremont County, still the county hit hardest in the state by the coronavirus, had nine.
Friday, March 20. 4:05 p.m.
20th Case Found in Campbell County
Wyoming’s coronavirus case count rose to 20 on Friday afternoon as the state Department of Health reported a case in Campbell County.
The case was the first in that county. No other information on the diagnosis was available. Earlier in the day, the Health Department had reported a ninth case in Fremont County. Fremont County has been particularly hard hit by the virus, with at least eight cases related to one retirement center in Lander. No information was immediately available on the new Fremont County case.
Friday, March 20. 3:05 p.m.
Wyoming Public Media: Lander COVID-19 Patient Was Initially Passed Over For Testing
One of Fremont County’s nine confirmed COVID-19 patients went to SageWest Health Care in Lander last week, but was sent home without being tested for the disease. That’s according to the patient’s daughter, who told Wyoming Public Media her mother began showing symptoms, including a severe cough, that same week.
Last Friday, March 13, Tesla Meyer said that her mother, a 63-year-old resident of Lander’s Showboat Retirement Center, took the Lander Senior Citizens Center bus to an appointment at St. John’s Medical Clinic in Lander. She was then sent to SageWest Health Care. When her mother called for a ride home from that hospital, Meyer asked if the doctors had administered a coronavirus test. [READ MORE]
Friday, March 20. 2:30 p.m.
Tourism officials see need for closure order
The state order closing down businesses where people are likely to gather is regrettable, but understandable under the circumstances, the leaders of two Wyoming hospitality industry groups said Friday.
Mike Moser, executive director for the Wyoming State Liquor Association, and Chris Brown, executive director of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, both said it is important to take action now to cut short the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. [READ MORE]
Friday, March 20. 2 p.m.
Carbon County Board of Commissioners Vote to Limit Access to County Offices
The Carbon County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Friday during an emergency meeting to limit access to county offices until at least April 3.
The board will make a decision on whether or not to extend this limited access in early April. It will also follow recommendations from both the governor’s office and the state health officer.
Friday, March 20. 11:17 a.m.
19th Case Found in Wyoming, Ninth in Fremont County
The number of coronavirus cases in Wyoming increased to 19 on Friday morning as the Wyoming Department of Health reported another diagnosis in Fremont County.
No details about the latest case were available from the Health Department.
Fremont County has been the hardest hit in Wyoming with the coronavirus, now reporting nine cases. Laramie and Sheridan counties both have four cases, while Park and Teton counties have so far reported one.
Friday, March 20. 11:10 a.m.
Cheyenne Mayor Urges Businesses to Curtail Hours, Let Employees Stay Home
The mayor of Cheyenne is urging businesses not closed by the state on Thursday to take steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as curtailing hours or letting employees stay at home to take care of family members.
Mayor Marian Orr, in a statement posted on the city’s website, said businesses remaining open need to be vigilant about preventive measures.
“I am calling on brick and mortar business owners throughout the community to respect the spirit of this order and do your part to help,” she said. “Curtail your hours. Limit the number of customers you serve at any one time. Make sure all who enter your establishment are feeling well and that none of your employees are at work not feeling well.”
Orr also urged employers to be lenient in allowing workers to stay home.
“Many employees no longer have daycare available to them, have family or they themselves may be health-compromised, and they are in fear of losing their job if they stay home,” she wrote. “When we have a workforce that is asking to be released for two weeks so as not to lose their job going forward, it speaks volumes.”
Orr also asked employers to be generous with sick time and for landlords to be lenient on the payment of rent.
“I believe it will be these kinds of measures, not mandated, but looking to the bigger picture in our community and economy by individual business owners and property owners, that Cheyenne will come out of these times stronger and more of a community than ever before,” she wrote.
Friday, March 20. 10:40 a.m.
Teton County Sheriff’s Office to Launch Rx Drop-Off Program
The Teton County Sheriff’s Office is launching a prescription drop-off program beginning Monday for residents 60 or older during the pandemic.
“This allows these members of our community to fill their prescriptions while limiting their exposure to high traffic areas in the community,” Sheriff Matt Carr said. [READ MORE]
Friday, March 20. 9:50 a.m.
Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael K. Davis Will Activate Pandemic Plan Monday
With the amount of confirmed coronavirus cases in Cheyenne now up to four, Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael K. Davis announced Friday that he will activate the Wyoming Judicial Branch Respiratory Disease Pandemic Plan as of Monday.
He also announced the Supreme Court will be open for business, but access to the building will be restricted to court employees only. Individuals who require access to the building for a specific purpose may contact the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court by phone or email.
“We are fortunate that our branch has invested in video technology and upgraded our hardware in recent years so that we can perform many judicial functions remotely,” Chief Justice Davis said.
Thursday, March 19. 7:06pm
Governor, First Lady Host Fireside Chat To Discuss Coronavirus in Wyoming
In front of their fireplace at the Governor’s Mansion in Cheyenne, Governor Mark Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon hosted a Facebook Live event on Thursday night to discuss the coronavirus.
Gordon said the decision to close public places including schools, theaters, bars, and other public places was one of the most difficult decisions he’s ever had to make.
“This was really hard because they are the places that employ the waiters, waitresses, the cooks, that really depend on these jobs,” he said. “It’s really hard because they are businesses that we count on to make our communities whole.”
Thursday, March 19. 5:15 p.m.
Governor, First Lady to Host “Fireside Chat” Thursday Night
Gov. Mark Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon will host a “fireside chat” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
According to a release from Gordon’s office, the two will communicate directly with Wyoming residents about the coronavirus. The chat will be streamed live on the governor’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/governormarkgordon/
Thursday, March 19. 5 p.m.
Gov. Gordon Orders Statewide Shutdown of Various Public Places
Bars, fitness clubs and museums and other public spaces were ordered closed Thursday by the state’s health officer in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Mark Gordon announced Thursday afternoon that the order from Dr. Alexia Harrist will require the closure of public places including schools, theaters, bars, coffee shops, cafeterias, self-serve buffets, gyms, conference rooms and museums through April 3.
Restaurants will be allowed to remain open under the order, but only for curbside takeout and drive-through service. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 19. 4:30 p.m.
Wyoming Distilleries Switch From Spirits to Sanitizer
A Cheyenne distillery is turning its focus from the making of alcohol to the manufacture of hand sanitizer.
Chronicles Distilling in Cheyenne is getting ready to begin mixing its alcohol with several other ingredients to produce hand sanitizer for use by health care staffers and workers at Cheyenne’s Holly Frontier Refinery. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 19. 2:06 p.m.
Laramie County Announces Fourth Confirmed Coronavirus Case
The Laramie County Health Department announced Thursday afternoon that there was a fourth confirmed coronavirus case in Cheyenne.
The latest patient is a known close contact of someone who previously tested positive. This brings the state’s total of confirmed cases up to 18.
Thursday, March 19. 1:48pm
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso: We Must Help Wyoming People
Government intervention to provide assistance during the coronavirus epidemic is necessary, according to U.S. Sen. John Barrasso.
Barrasso, speaking on Fox News, expressed his support for the Emergency Coronavirus Response Act shortly after its approval Wednesday.
“I think of our small businesses in Wyoming and that’s about every business in Wyoming,” Barrasso said. “You want to make sure that their employees are taken care of. And we want to make sure that by the time this is over, that these businesses have the cash on hand to come back and open again and don’t find themselves in a bad situation.” [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 19. 1:23 p.m.
Park County Bans All Non-Essential Business
Park County joined in with Laramie and Teton counties on Thursday by issuing a public health order banning non-essential business and gatherings larger than 10.
This will close childcare centers, restaurants, bars and shut down any recreation, spiritual or community-based events.
There is one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Cody, found in a woman who works for Cody Regional Health. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 19. 10:49am
The Los Angeles Times Wonders If Things Are Safer in Wyoming
The Los Angeles Times sent a reporter to Wyoming to find out how the Cowboy State is handling the Coronavirus.
Their story headlined “Think the most isolated corners of the U.S. are safe from coronavirus? Think again” chronicles the observations of Maria La Ganga, a reporter who covers the Rocky Mountain West.
La Ganga spent most of her time in Casper where she visited Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters and interviewed a customer who thought the Coronavirus was merely a “cold” and events surrounding the pandemic were “overblown.”
“I don’t understand what a big deal it is,” the customer said. “I believe there may be a cold thing going around. It just doesn’t need to be as big a deal as it is.” [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 19. 9:53am
Courts Ordered To Suspend In-person Proceedings
Wyoming’s district and circuit courts have been ordered to suspend all in-person proceedings.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Davis on Wednesday issued an order for courts to allow in-person proceedings only when required by law or the Constitution.
Civil trials should be rescheduled, Davis said, and “reasonable attempts” should be made to reschedule criminal trials subject to constitutional requirements for a speedy trial.
Judges were encouraged to use video or telephone conferencing where possible.
“We are fortunate that our branch (of government) has invested in video technology and upgraded our hardware in recent years so that we can perform many judicial functions remotely,” Davis said in a news release.
Thursday, March 19. 8:01am
WYDOT to Work With Highway Patrol to Make Sure COVID-19-Related Supplies Get Through
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) announced it will work with the Wyoming Highway Patrol to ensure COVID-19-related supplies are delivered despite any blizzard conditions which could hit the state.
“In the event of a road closure, our maintenance crews and the Wyoming Highway Patrol will work with officials to ensure COVID-19-related supplies get through. We will do everything in our power to ensure these vital supplies get to their communities,” said WYDOT Director K. Luke Reiner. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 19. 5:28am
Seven Wyoming Coronavirus Patients Identified In 24 Hours As State Total Climbs To 17
In a span of 24 hours, Wyoming health officials identified seven more cases of coronavirus, four of them in Cheyenne. As of early evening Wednesday, the state’s new total for confirmed cases of the respiratory illness stands at 17.
The new cases are four in Cheyenne, including one service member on F.E. Warren Air Force Base; a Park County woman who works for the Cody hospital; and two Sheridan County residents whose cases are linked to previous cases there. [READ MORE]
Thursday, March 19. 2:48am
Cheyenne Loses Air Service Due to Coronavirus
The City of Cheyenne will lose air service beginning April 6. Airport Director Tim Barth made the announcement late Wednesday on its Facebook page.
While air service is expected to return, there’s no timeline yet. As of now, flights will be suspended on April 6, 2020. The last flight before the pause will be from Cheyenne to DFW that morning. The National Guard and non-commercial general aviation are not affected at this point. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 5:03pm
Department of Corrections Suspends Visitation
Visitations to inmates at Wyoming Department of Corrections institutions has been suspended, the DOC announced Wednesday.
The department said while none of the inmates in its institutions has tested positive for coronavirus, it is taking the step to prevent the spread of the illness. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 4:30pm
Coronavirus detected in military member assigned to F.E. Warren
A member of the military assigned to F.E. Warren Air Force Base has tested positive for the coronavirus, the base announced.
The base, in a news release, said the military member had just returned from outside of Wyoming. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 3:21pm
Wyoming Ranked ‘Least Aggressive’ In Coronavirus Fight by Finance Site
Personal finance website WalletHub ranked Wyoming as 51st among the states and Washington, D.C., for aggressive measures taken to slow the spread of coronavirus.
However, a large part of that ranking is based on economic factors, such as the number of Wyoming residents employed in the hospitality industry, and restrictions imposed by the state on its businesses. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 2:23pm
Wyoming Emergency Care Workers Urge Social Distancing
The owners of a Cheyenne acute care clinic discussed the lack of available coronavirus tests, the uptick in clients and why people should continue practicing social distancing during a radio program Wednesday.
“It seems like such an overwhelming time, because none of us have ever lived through anything like this,” she said in the video. “But you can do your part right now by staying at home. You shouldn’t be interacting with other people. Stay healthy and wash your hands.” [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 2:02pm
Covid-19, Low Oil Prices, Recession Threats Pose ‘perfect Storm’ For Wyoming Economy
The Casper Star Tribune is reporting that Wyoming — economically speaking — might be facing a perfect storm.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues its spread, more and more businesses and nonprofits are limiting hours or closing altogether, while travel — a key component of Wyoming’s economy — has grown unpredictable.
Meanwhile, oil prices — driven below $30 per barrel due to a price war between OPEC and Russia — have threatened the vitality of one of Wyoming’s core industries, leaving operators in a precarious position while helping drive a decline in stock market performance that UCLA economists say could mark the beginnings of a national recession that could last into the start of fall. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 1:06pm
Gordon Endorses Trump’s Coronavirus Plan
Gov. Mark Gordon on Wednesday endorsed the recommendations issued by President Donald Trump to slow the spread of the coronavirus within 15 days.
Gordon, in a statement, urged Wyoming residents to follow the recommendations issued by the president, which include avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, avoiding eating or drinking in restaurants or bars and traveling only when necessary. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 12:39pm
City of Cheyenne Reports Third Case of Coronavirus
The City of Cheyenne released the following statement at 12:39pm on Wednesday, March 18:
Wednesday morning, a third individual tested positive for COVID-19 in Cheyenne. The Cheyenne Laramie County Health Department, Emergency Mangement, and all elected officials in the city and county are working together collaboratively to ensure the safety of public health. More information regarding potential closures in the community will be shared as soon as they are available.
Wednesday, March 18. 12:23pm
Wyoming Medical Center Respiratory Clinic Has Seen 286 Patients In 2 Days
The Casper Star Tribune is reporting that the Wyoming Medical Center has seen 286 patients in two days specifically to screen patients for COVID-19.
On Monday, the clinic’s first day, 131 patients came through its doors. On Tuesday, there were 155. Of those, 14 have been tested for COVID-19. As of Tuesday night, no positive cases have been confirmed in Natrona County. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 11:30am
Sweetwater County Forms Community Resiliency Task Force
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Department, Rock Springs Police Department, Rock Springs Fire Department, Green River Police Department, and Green River Fire Department have announced the creation of the Sweetwater County Community Resiliency Task Force.
The task’s force goal is to serve as an information clearinghouse for public health and safety information as it relates to the coronavirus disease in Sweetwater County. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 11:00am
Cheyenne Restaurant Owner Sam Galeotos Clarifies Layoffs at The Metropolitan In Wake Of Coronavirus
Sam Galeotos, owner of Cheyenne restaurant The Metropolitan Downtown, took to Facebook on Tuesday to explain the layoffs at his business after news of the move sparked a major backlash on social media.
A letter from Galeotos to 46 Metropolitan staffers began circulating on Facebook sometime Monday evening. In the letter, also dated Monday, Galeotos told his employees that their positions had been eliminated at the restaurant, effective immediately, due to the coronavirus pandemic. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 9:45am
UW Closes Facilities to Public; Most Buildings Open for Faculty, Staff, Students
In an attempt to comply with guidance to encourage social distancing, University of Wyoming facilities have been closed to general public access in response to concerns about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
However, most buildings are still accessible for faculty, staff and students, with the exception of Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center and Corbett Pool, which have been closed until further notice. All university events — including athletics competitions and practices, and all other organized gatherings — have been suspended until further notice. [READ MORE]
Wednesday, March 18. 8:40am
Teton County Closes Theaters, Bars, Fitness Centers
Theaters, bars, coffee shops and fitness centers in Teton County were ordered closed on Tuesday by the county’s health officer.
Dr. Travis Riddell took the action to close most of the businesses where more than 10 people might congregate in response to President Donald Trump’s recommendations to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The order will be enforced beginning Wednesday evening, Riddell said.
Restaurants will be allowed to remain open only to provide curbside takeout or drive-through service.
Wednesday, March 18. 7:30am
Laramie County Has Two Coronavirus Cases
Laramie County has its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The first new case, identified Tuesday afternoon, is an older Laramie County man who isn’t hospitalized, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. The second case is an adult female, identified by commercial reference laboratory testing.
Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr said the first confirmed case is an elderly man who is a Cheyenne resident. She said he recently traveled to Weld County, Colorado, and has a female spouse. Both are quarantining at their home. [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 17. 9:46pm
Four New Wyoming Coronavirus Cases Confirmed
The new cases involve an adult female in Park County, an adult female in Laramie County, an adult male in Sheridan County and an adult female in Sheridan County.
No more information is available at this time regarding the Park County or Laramie County cases. The two new Sheridan County cases are close contacts of two previously identified cases from the county. [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 17. 4:54pm
Douglas Hospital Broken Into; Potential COVID-19 Patient There Tests Negative
The Casper Star Tribune reports:
“Two men broke into a Memorial Hospital of Converse County building last week to steal protective gear, a hospital executive said Tuesday.
“Also on Tuesday, the hospital’s chief operating officer, Karl Hertz, said in a statement that a potential coronavirus patient who was admitted over the weekend has tested negative for the illness. ” [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 17. 4:03pm
Laramie County Resident Tests Positive with Coronavirus
The number of Wyoming residents with coronavirus grew to 11 on Tuesday as an older adult male in Laramie County tested positive for the illness.
The Wyoming Department of Health announced that testing at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory revealed the infection. No other information was immediately available.
The case marks the 11th in Wyoming and came just one day after seven people connected with a Lander retirement home tested positive for the virus. All seven were linked with one older male who was living at the Showboat Retirement Center.
Laramie County is the third in the state where the illness has surfaced. In addition to the Fremont County cases, two cases were diagnosed in Sheridan County.
Tuesday, March 17. 3:21pm
Report From Lander Ground Zero, Showboat Retirement Center
The Showboat Retirement Center, which once was the Lander hospital, is on a total lockdown with no visitors allowed.
The owner of the facility said he has no idea where the original infection came from, but he believes “it is everywhere.” He thinks once enough people get tested, a lot more cases will be announced. [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 17. 2:24pm
Lander Game And Fish Office Closed Because Of Coronavirus Symptoms
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department office in Lander has been closed because employees have exhibited signs of coronavirus, the department announced Tuesday.
The department said the office’s employees are self-quarantining on the advice of medical personnel.
“Game and Fish sought approval to close the Lander regional office out of an abundance of caution to limit potential exposure to the public,” the department said in a news release.
Tuesday, March 17. 1:59pm
F.E. Warren Declares Health Emergency To Align Efforts With State
F.E. Warren Air Force Base officials have declared the base to be under a public health emergency so it will be better able match the actions of Wyoming during the coronavirus outbreak, its commander announced Tuesday.
Col. Peter Bonetti said in a statement his decision on Monday to declare a public health emergency did not come in response to any coronavirus diagnoses on the base.
“I have declared a public health emergency which further aligns F.E. Warren AFB;s authority to take preventative measures with those of Wyoming and other states,” Bonetti said. “It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases on the base at this time.”
By making the declaration, base officials can more quickly to “take actions that promote force protection,” the statement said.
The action will allow base leaders to close base facilities and limit activities on the base.
Officials announced Monday they had closed all recreational facilities on the base.
The emergency declaration will expire in 30 days unless it is renewed by the base commander.
Tuesday, March 17. 1:35pm
WyoMovies Closes Theaters Until Further Notice
Theater chain WyoMovies has shut down all of its locations across the state, effective immediately, according to a post on its website.
Meanwhile, Regal and AMC, which both operate movie theaters in Wyoming, also announced the closures of their theaters.
WyoMovies, in a statement on its website, said its more than 60 screens in Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie, Green River and Rock Springs would go dark until further notice.
“This is an unprecedented time for all of us,” the statement read. “As many of you know, our theaters have long been open every day of the year. We look forward to opening our doors and lighting up our screens for you again very soon.”
Anyone who has purchased advance tickets through the WyoMovies website will be contacted to receive refunds. Those who purchased tickets through Atom Tickets must approach that company to obtain refunds.
The theater’s Studio Rewards won’t expire during the closure.
The theater will reschedule screenings of “Jump Shot,” a documentary about University of Wyoming basketball star Kenny Sailors. The film was executive produced by basketball player Steph Curry and was originally scheduled to be screened in April.
AMC, which runs the AMC Classic Frontier 9 theater in Cheyenne’s Frontier Mall, said all of its theaters — including those in Fort Collins, Colorado — would close “in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines.”
Theaters in Colorado, along with bars and other places where people congregate, have been ordered closed for 30 days by the state.
No such order has been issued in Wyoming.
Regal, which runs the Regal Fox Theater in Laramie, also closed its theaters across the country “as a precaution amid the current circumstances.”
Tuesday, March 17. 12:20pm
Coal Mines Institute Changes With COVID-19 Concerns
Coal companies with mines in Wyoming are making adjustments as COVID-19 increases its spread worldwide. Wyoming has 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 thus far with patients in Sheridan and Fremont Counties.
Peabody’s three Wyoming mines are all still in operation. Charlene Murdock, director of corporate communications for Peabody Energy, said they are following the advice from government authorities to manage the spread of COVID-19.
“We have provided guidance on social distancing and have increased measures to sanitize common work areas. Both domestic and international travel have been restricted,” she said. [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 17. 12:02pm
Some Restaurants Limit Hours In Face Of Coronavirus
As uncertainty over the impacts of the coronavirus continued on Tuesday, some hotels and restaurants began limiting their hours.
The Ramkota Hotel in Casper announced it would limit the hours of its restaurant and bar, with both closing at 8 p.m., while Cheyenne’s Metropolitan Downtown Restaurant announced it would also limit hours.
Chris Brown, executive director of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, said most of the businesses limiting their hours are doing so out of concerns for the safety of their customers and are using the extra time to make sure their facilities are safe.
“We want the traveling public to know safety is of the utmost concern and properties are taking the utmost precaution to make sure stays and meals are being executed safely,” he said. “Most of this self-regulation comes from a heightened cleanliness perspective and proactive outreach.”
Brown said he did not know how many restaurants may have cut back on their hours.
“I’ve seen some adjusted hours,” he said. “The individual businesses know what’s best for them.”
In Jackson, the town council on Tuesday was considering an emergency ordinance that would close bars, coffee shops, fitness centers and other places where more than 10 people might gather. The ordinance would also restrict restaurants to providing only curbside takeout or drive-through service.
Jackson officials said the measure was being considered in response to President Donald Trump’s recommendation that gatherings be no larger than 10 people and that people avoid eating or drinking in bars and restaurants.
Tuesday, March 17. 10:42am
Jackson Considers Closing Bars, Restaurants
Jackson’s town council met Tuesday to consider an emergency ordinance that would close the city’s bars, restaurants and other places where people gather.
The town, in a statement on its website, said its council was considering the ordinance as a response to President Donald Trump’s recommendation for people to meet in groups of no more than 10 and to avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants and food courts.
The ordinance would close all theaters, bars, coffee and tea shops, self-serve buffets, pools, fitness centers, museums and conference rooms.
It would also prohibit all dine-in food service at restaurants, but would allow curbside takeout or drive-through food service.
Jackson’s council had earlier passed an emergency ordinance limiting public and private gatherings to 100 people or less.
Tuesday, March 17. 9:30am
State, towns, counties brace for COVID-19 as Gov briefs public
Wyoming has increased its capacity for testing for the COVID-19 virus from 10 people a day to between 20 and 50, State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said Monday.
Harrist made her comments in a press conference with Gov. Mark Gordon after returning from Lander where the first case of community transmission — infection arising without direct contact with a known carrier — in Wyoming occurred. Medical personnel conducted testing in Lander “as appropriate,” she said without giving numbers. [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 17. 8:43am
State Officials Will Work To Address The Impacts Of COVID-19
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon is using the top five elected officials to head up the state’s response to COVID-19.
They will be asked to lead task forces and will look at issues including health care availability, government policies, education impacts, transportation and infrastructure, along with how businesses and the financial sector are impacted. [READ MORE]
Tuesday, March 17. 7:45am
Barrasso Discusses Aid Package on FOX News
U.S. Senator John Barrasso discussed a government aid package to help citizens as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Barrasso said, “People are being challenged all across the country. At a time like this, relief is necessary and we want to do it without being a burden on business.” [WATCH VIDEO]
Tuesday, March 17. 6:21am
Wyoming Coronavirus Case Count Grows To 10
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wyoming grew to 10 on Monday as tests of seven Fremont County residents came out positive.
The state Department of Health said each of the seven new cases is directly connected with the third person to be diagnosed with the illness in Wyoming, an older male in Fremont County. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16. 5:15pm
Park County Braces For Potential Effects To Summer Tourism
Park County relies heavily on summer tourism to Yellowstone National Park. But during a Cody Country Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 update roundtable, Park County Travel Council marketing director Claudia Wade said there have been no nationwide bans on traveling within the United States. She said that’s a good sign.
Travelers can be very spontaneous in making their travel plans. There are deep discounts, there is availability and all of those play into planning that last minute trip after they’ve been in the house for two months,” said Wade. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 4:48pm
Governor Announces Five Task Forces to Fight Coronavirus
Gordon, in a news conference, announced that the task forces would focus on health, state services and operations, business, transportation and education. Each task force will be chaired by one of the top elected officials. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 3:28pm
Cheyenne Frontier Days Still A Go
A spokesperson for CFD said, “Cheyenne Frontier Days wants to reassure all of our fans, volunteers, sponsors and the entire Cheyenne community that we are still on track for the 124th edition of the Daddy of ‘em All in July. Let’s be honest. Things are moving rapidly, and a lot can change between now and July.” [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2:48pm
F.E. Warren Closes Most Recreational Services
F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne announced Monday that it would shut down the following facilities until further notice: arts and crafts, archery range, the auto hobby shop, the base pool, the movie theater, worship services and the chapel community center, the fall hall and bowling alley, the Airman Ministry Center, the museum, the teen’s center annex and Trail’s End.
However, the following services will remain open: chaplain services, the CDC and youth center, the education center, the commissary, the shoppette, the Airman and Family Readiness Center, DFAC, the stables, lodging and legal assistance services.
The base’s main gate, Gate 1 on Randall Avenue on the west side of Cheyenne, will be closed until further notice.
Gate 2, on Missile Drive, continue 24-hour operations, but is closed to commercial vehicles.
Gate 5, on Central Avenue, will be open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Visitor access will only be granted for mission-essential visitors using the extended pass procedure. Retiree and veteran access isn’t affected at this time.
Monday, March 16, 2:25pm
Gordon Holds Bill Signing With Eye on CDC Recommendations
Gov. Mark Gordon will hold a formal bill signing at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the capitol, where he will sign seven bills into law.
While the signing will be open to members of the public, the group size in the room will be limited to comply with the current Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, which are to allow no more than 50 people to a gathering.
Monday, March 16, 2020. 2:11pm
Amazon To Hire 100,000 Warehouse And Delivery Workers Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon will be hiring 100,000 delivery drivers and warehouse workers.
Amazon plans to deploy the new workers to fuel e-commerce deliveries and is raising pay for these employees in the U.S. and Canada by $2 an hour through April.
Amazon accounts for 39% of all online orders in the U.S., according to eMarketer, and is shouldering a lot of those needs. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 2:02pm
Wind River Casinos Close Down
The Wind River Hotel and Casino, the 789 Casino and the Little Wind Casino announced Monday afternoon that they will close until further notice.
Wind River announced the closure on its Facebook page. Many commenters expressed concerns about employees during the shutdown, but the casino assured everyone that staffers would be taken care of.
“Any employees with questions are urged to reach out to their managers and directors,” said a statement on the hotel’s Facebook page.
Monday, March 16, 2020. 1:42pm
No Decision Yet From Campbell County School District On Whether To Close Schools
The Campbell County School District has not yet made a decision yet on whether to close its schools.
Alex Ayers, superintendent of the Campbell County School District, said the district is not ready to make a decision yet. Students are on spring break this week. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 12:59pm
Senator Mike Enzi Statement on Coronavirus
The coronavirus has made its way to Wyoming. Health officials advise that if you feel that you have become sick, the best thing to do is to stay home if possible. If you are caring for a sick loved one, it is especially important to clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs or light switches. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 12:52pm
Cheyenne’s Public Works Department Announces Amended Schedule
For the next two weeks, the city transit will cancel bus routes, but will provide Paratransit as scheduled. The city’s compost and household hazardous waste facilities will close.
The landfill will operate as normal. The street and alley division will provide on-call, locate and weather event service, while traffic maintenance will provide on-call and locate. Facilities maintenance will provide on-call and minimal custodial services.
Fleet maintenance will reduce its staff in the interim, rotating them to provide essential services for fire, police, street and alley and traffic maintenance as required.
Monday, March 16, 2020. 12:22pm
UW Student Government Dedicates $75,000 To Aid Students
University of Wyoming students who find themselves on hard times in the coming weeks might have money available to them through the student government.
UW extended its spring break by an extra week, giving instructors time to plan online course delivery, which it later announced, would be required. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 12:15pm
Catholic Church In Wyoming Suspending All Masses.
All Catholic Masses in Wyoming are suspended indefinitely as part of an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Diocese of Cheyenne announced Monday. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 12:09pm
City of Riverton Offices Closed: Effective immediately, the City of Riverton offices will be temporarily closed to the public until further notice.
We will continue to provide service through phone, e-mail, website communication, and by appointment on a case by case basis. We seek to provide continued service and appreciate your understanding during this difficult time.
We look forward to serving you and appreciate your use of our alternative service means. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 11:57am
Denver Closes Restaurants and Bars. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ordered the closure of all restaurants and bars except for delivery and carryout service Monday in an attempt to curtail the spread of the new coronavirus, which is surging throughout the world. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 11:50am
Gillette Closing City Hall. Gillette is closing its city hall until further notice, the city announced Monday.
In a statement on its website, the city said the step is one of several being taken to limit contact between people. Others include canceling the city’s regular council meeting on Tuesday, suspending municipal court proceedings and closing the city’s animal shelter. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 11:32am
Are We Overreacting? University of Wyoming Professor Linda Thunstrom was featured in a New York Times article this morning on ‘social distancing.
From the article: ‘As an America desperate to stem the coronavirus outbreak put in place sweeping restrictions last week on every facet of public life, the University of Wyoming economist Linda Thunstrom asked what felt like a taboo question: “Are we overreacting?’’
‘It helped that Dr. Thunstrom was in her kitchen, drinking coffee with her husband, Jason Shogren, a fellow economist who studies how much Americans are willing to pay to reduce risk of threats like terrorism, food-borne illness and climate change.’ [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 10:25am
Community Colleges Go Online. Laramie County Community College announced Friday that it would extend spring break until March 31. Beginning April 1, most classes will primarily meet online. The school then added to the announcement on Sunday evening, stating that the Children’s Discovery Center will close until April 6, the dental hygiene clinic will close until April 12 and the Recreation and Athletics Complex and the Ludden Library will close through May 15. The library’s virtual services will still be available to students/
All of LCCC’s scheduled events through May 15, including life enrichment classes and business trainings) on the school’s campus and remote locations will be postponed or cancelled. LCCC employees affected by the Laramie County School District 1 closures are asked to make specific arrangements with their supervisors. President Joe Schaffer noted he would meet with his cabinet and consult with the board of trustees to determine what essential staffing functions must remain on campus and who can work from home.
Central Wyoming College announced Sunday that it would close all physical campus facilities until March 29. Spring break will be extended from Monday to March 29, as well. The school will continue to operate virtually. Students who currently live on campus will have essential provisions needed. All students will receive information regarding classes from their instructors.
Monday, March 16, 2020. 9:56am
UW Undergraduates To Finish Out Semester Online
All undergraduate courses at the University of Wyoming will be offered only online for the rest of this semester, the university announced Monday.
The university earlier had decided to extend its spring break by one week to give officials time to develop a plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.
On Monday, acting UW President Neil Theobald announced the plan to teach classes remotely.
“This response plan seeks to allow the university to best address the larger public health needs of the university community, Albany County and the state of Wyoming,” Theobald said in a news release. “We are invested in keeping our campus community members as health as possible. [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 9:45am
Lander Coronavirus Case. State health officials announced in a news release the nature of the COVID-19 infection in Lander is concerning because they haven’t been able to figure out how the older man who got the disease caught it. He hasn’t traveled, which means he caught it fro, somebody inside the community and possibly from someone at the Showboat Retirement Center in Lander, where he is a resident.
“Our initial follow up with this individual found nothing that could be explained other than potential community spread of this virus in the Lander area,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s health officer.
Harrist said the case emphasizes the need for residents to continue taking recommended steps to slow the spread of the illness, including washing hands thoroughly, covering the mouth and nose while coughing, staying home if sick and staying away from individuals who may already be sick.
“Take common-sense steps to avoid sharing your germs with others, especially with those who are more vulnerable to serious illness,” she said in a news release.
Monday, March 16, 2020. 9:40am
Social Distancing. Jackson Town Council passes emergency ordinance banning gatherings of 100 or more people The ordinance takes effect immediately. “While the council understands that this ordinance may adversely impact local businesses, council confirmed that now is the time to work on flattening the curve, to take action that may limit the possibility of community spread.” [READ MORE]
Work At Home. Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr urged all “non-essential” employees to do their work from home. She also said the Cheyenne City Hall would be open for business, but access to offices would be limited and the public could visit offices by appointment only. She also suspended all out-of-city travel. [READ MORE]
Watch What You Flush. Public works departments in towns across the state urged people not to flush anything other than toilet paper because of the impact on pipes. “Despite some packaging claims of being flushable, these items must be thrown away in the trash. These items do not break down in the sewer line and will clog pipes and cause sewer backups.” [READ MORE]
Monday, March 16, 2020. 9:30am
Jackson Closes All Three Ski Resorts
All three of Teton County’s ski resorts have closed for the season, joining a wider effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community and United States.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee Resort will all cease to operate starting Monday. [READ MORE]