Teton County Opts Out of State Plans; Keeps Gyms, Hair Salons Closed

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Teton County’s gyms, hair salons and massage therapy services will remain closed until May 11, even though such services elsewhere in Wyoming will be allowed to open Friday.

Teton County officials, with the approval of Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s public health officer, have implemented more stringent orders for the reopening of such businesses than what is in place at the state level.

Dr. Travis Riddell, Teton County’s health officer, said the county needs to continue reacting cautiously to changes in the coronavirus situation.

“It’s not a time to let our guard down,” he said in a news release. “We’re urging everyone in Teton County to err on the side of caution, especially those who may have more frequent interaction with others or are at higher risk.”

Gov. Mark Gordon on Tuesday announced that some of the public health orders issued in March closing schools and businesses would be relaxed on Friday. Among the orders to be relaxed were those closing gyms and businesses providing personal services, such as hair salons, tattoo parlors and cosmetologists.

All those businesses will be allowed to open on Friday if their owners and managers follow certain safeguards, such as requiring the use of cloth masks by customers and staff.

But Riddell, in his public health order extending the closures to May 11, noted that Teton County has a higher coronavirus infection rate and a higher hospitalization rate than the statewide average, requiring additional safeguards.

However, Teton County officials did end their “stay-at-home” order, which prohibited residents from meeting with anyone from outside their own household, effective Friday.

The state’s health order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people will be in place until at least May 15 and Teton County residents will now be able to follow the state rule rather than the more restrictive county rule.

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