By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Washakie County has received multiple variances from public health orders and its residents are now no longer required to wear masks in all public places, although it is still encouraged.
The county was granted four variances by state Public Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist, responding to a request made by Washakie County Public Health Officer Dr. Amber Moss because of the dropping number of coronavirus cases over recent weeks.
As of Wednesday, Washakie County reported only five active COVID cases.
In addition to the lifting of the mask requirement, the variances allow restaurants, bars, gyms and other places where people might gather to operate without restrictions and allow more people to gather for inside and outdoor events than are allowed to gather under current statewide rules.
Other reasons for Harrist approving the variances included the fact that Washakie Medical Center had an adequate supply of coronavirus tests, there were no coronavirus cases in any of the local nursing or assisted living facilities and that there was also an adequate supply of personal protective equipment in case of a spike.
However, mask use will still be required in county schools and day care centers.
Gov. Mark Gordon implemented a statewide mask mandate in December and it is in place until at least the end of the month.