By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming residents are responsible enough not need the state ordering them to stay in their homes, Gov. Mark Gordon said Monday.
Gordon, speaking on the Townsquare Media radio program “Wake Up Wyoming,” said he feels Wyoming residents will act on their own to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“Wyoming people don’t need an order to know what’s important,” he said. “They have common sense.”
Gordon noted that in many states that have issued “stay-at-home” orders, there are numerous objections.
“If you really look at those statewide stay-at-home orders, they really have so many exemptions to them that they’re not materially different from what we have already recommended,” he said.
Jackson’s Town Council on Saturday adopted a “stay-at-home” order for its residents, barring them from leaving their homes except to obtain supplies, such as groceries or medicine, to go to work in an essential job or to take part in outdoor recreation.
Teton County adopted a similar order on Saturday, but it applied only to those age 65 and order and those with high-risk medical conditions.
Gordon said Wyoming’s counties are free to adopt any restrictions they feel are necessary.
“If an individual county feels it’s appropriate and they need to issue a more strict stay-at-home guideline, then we can support that as counties feel it’s necessary,” he said.
However, Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr, also speaking on the “Wake Up Wyoming” program, said she believes if some sort of restrictions are needed, they should be imposed statewide, not on a county-by-county basis.
What we are seeing … in the state is these patchwork ordinances are really problematic,” she said. “It’s not that I’m saying we need to shut down, but that any order needs to be statewide.”
Three statewide orders are in place restricting businesses and people. One closes schools and businesses where more than 10 people are likely to gather, one closes businesses that provide personal services, such as hair salons and tattoo parlors, and the third restricts gatherings to fewer than 10 people. All three orders are in place until April 17.
While President Donald Trump on Sunday recommended that people follow social distancing guidelines for the next 30 days, Gordon said state officials will assess daily whether the state orders need to be extended.
Gordon also said state officials had expected to see an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases as more tests for the virus were conducted with increased numbers of available test kits.
“We only had a limited number of tests to start with, so the positives, we kind of came in below what we would have expected to see,” he said. “As we’ve ramped up testing, we’d expected to see more positives and that is in fact what’s happened.”
The state had 94 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday morning.