By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Barring a spike in coronavirus cases, Teton County will rescind its mask mandate early due to low infection numbers and high vaccination rates.
Teton County’s mask order is expected to end May 7 instead of May 17 as originally planned, the county health department announced Thursday. This order required everyone in the county to continue wearing masks or face coverings while in public places.
“This is dependent on local COVID-19 case numbers remaining at their current levels or continuing to decrease,” the announcement said.
Gov. Mark Gordon in March rescinded the statewide health order requiring the use of facemasks in public places. However, Teton County was granted a variance to leave its facemask order in place.
The county has the highest coronavirus vaccination rate in the state, with more than half of its residents (52.8%, according to the Wyoming Department of Health) being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Despite the end to Teton County’s mask mandate, the county’s schools — along with most other schools across the state — must continue to require the use of face coverings until May 16 under one of the state’s remaining public health orders.
“It is important to remember that many people in our community are still susceptible to COVID-19,” the announcement said. “This includes children younger than 16 years old, people who are immunocompromised, and those who are not yet fully vaccinated.”
Estimates show nearly 25% of Wyoming’s population has been fully vaccinated against coronavirus so far, including 32% of adults 18 and over and more than 55% of adults 65 and over.