In his weekly press conference, Gov Mark Gordon said even counties with low rates of the coronavirus need to follow state health orders.
Gordon was responding to a question about a recently passed Goshen County non-binding resolution which encouraged individuals to make their own healthcare decisions and to “refrain from county-level virus-related concerning individual healthcare decisions.”
Gordon said he understood the sentiment behind the resolution but didn’t endorse it because those individual decisions can affect others and broad public health orders, such as those issued by the state, are in place to protect everyone.
“The decisions that we make can affect what happens to our neighbors and our friends,” Gordon said.
“There was one instance where an individual didn’t feel well, went to get tested, went from the test to a bar and suddenly we had a huge surge of cases,” Gordon said referencing an outbreak in Uinta County.
Gordon acknowledged that most Wyoming citizens wouldn’t do something this “careless” but this was why the state needed to have a “minimum standard” in the form of its public health orders
He said one of the reasons that the State of Wyoming was able to minimize restrictions in state health orders was because of the good work in Goshen, Weston, and Crook counties.
“Freedom is the right to be wrong but not the right to do wrong,” Gordon said. “So it is important that we take the advice that is given and that we respect our neighbors and do the right thing.”
State Public Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist agreed with Gordon stating that the evidence and the data told them that the health measures were appropriate to slow transmission and help keep businesses open.
“We’ve seen situations where low-burdened places become hybrid places in a relatively quick period of time,” Harrist said, acknowledging that she would continue to consider local exceptions to the statewide health orders.
Gordon said he wanted to keep Wyoming from becoming another Texas, Arizona, or California where these states have had to roll-back health orders because “people became too lax.”
“I respect the differing points of view. I continue to be a staunch advocate of the constitution,” he said.