By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon said he and other Wyoming officials want to be careful about easing the state’s current public health orders because they don’t want to find themselves in a position of having to reimpose restrictions later.
In a news conference Wednesday, Gordon and state Public Health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist provided updates on the coronavirus in Wyoming.
Gordon said he and other officials wanted to see how many cases pop up following the Labor Day weekend before taking the next step to further relax the state’s few remaining health orders designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Harrist noted there have been some cases of the coronavirus popping up in schools around the state, but no schools have had to close.
“This is an indicator of all of the efforts school administrators, staff, parents and students are putting in to ensuring safety while providing in-person education, which is so important for many children,” Harrist said.
She added that state health officials are seeing cases spring up from “preventable” situations, using an outbreak at the University of Wyoming as an example. Officials are blaming social gatherings in the university’s community for exposing more people to the virus.
Faced with 70 active coronavirus cases among university students and staff, University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel announced Wednesday that the university’s phased return plan for the fall semester would continue to be on a pause until at least Monday, partially to see how many cases pop up following the holiday weekend.
Harrist pointed out that some well-planned large gatherings have taken place without a hitch due to precautions put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Then, informal gatherings of participants after the events led to the spread,” she said.