By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Jackson Town Council has passed a new resolution in support of a health order that would require people to wear face coverings in public places.
As of Monday, Teton County had 95 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but health officials are expecting the number to increase daily, with cases surging in Wyoming and all over the country.
The council had a special meeting on Monday to discuss the resolution to support Dr. Travis Riddell, Teton County’s health officer, in his plan to ask the state for a health order requiring the use of face masks. The discussion lasted around an hour.
A number of Teton County residents used the public comment period to give the council their opinions on the resolution. Many came out in support of the resolution, offering up information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends wearing face coverings to help slow the spread of the virus.
Some of the comments came from county business owners, many of whom already were requiring customers of their stores to wear face coverings. One man told the council that he has around 15 to 20 negative encounters a day with people who refuse to wear a mask.
The resolution noted that an influx of people who come into the county’s health care systems could compromise the ability of staff to deliver the necessary care to the public.
Since Teton County is a major tourist destination in the Rocky Mountain region, the council felt it was appropriate to require everyone to wear masks in public gatherings.
“Teton County Hospital District routinely serves patients not only from within Teton County but also many tourists and residents from Lincoln County, WY, Sublette County, WY, Fremont County, WY and parts of Eastern Idaho who will further stress its capacity, making it critical that Teton County take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 infection so as not to overwhelm the local healthcare system in such a way that would result in many preventable deaths,” the resolution said.
The council was unanimous in its vote to pass the resolution.