By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon announced that new state public health orders to be issued next week will contain a relaxation on some of the restrictions in place for the state’s restaurants.
The governor’s comments came during a news conference on Thursday, when he discussed the recent spike in coronavirus cases seen across the state, primarily in Albany, Natrona and Sheridan counties.
While Gordon said the trend was concerning, he added that he had expected a surge in cases due to people returning to school, partaking in extracurricular activities and gathering socially at work and in private settings.
The governor said he expected to see an ebb and flow in cases over the next few months, but that as long as the case counts stay within certain parameters, no stricter health orders will be issued.
He specified that schools and restaurants in particular aren’t seeing large outbreaks of cases due to diligent efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.
As a result, he said he would expand restaurant indoor seating capacity when he issues the state’s next health orders on Sept. 30. The relaxed restrictions are the result of restaurants taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus and because of the quickly approaching cool temperatures that will make it impossible to eat outside, he said.
State public health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said there have been about 100 cases of the virus reported in K-12 schools throughout the state over the last month. Quarantine for school staff, faculty and students is now not recommended in the case of an exposure when both the exposer and exposee are wearing face coverings.
School athletics have been a source of outbreaks, Harrist noted. However, no schools have had to close due to coronavirus outbreaks.
Harrist also touched on the upcoming flu season, urging viewers to get flu shots since the combination of the flu and the coronavirus (as well as the two on their own) could cause serious illness.