By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon has officially banned state agencies, boards and commissions from requiring “vaccine passports” to access state spaces and services.
The new directive, issued Friday, instructs state agencies, boards and commissions to provide full access to spaces and services regardless of a person’s coronavirus vaccination status.
“Vaccine passport programs have the potential to politicize a decision that should not be politicized,” Gordon said. “They would divide our citizens at a time when unity in fighting the virus is essential, and harm those who are medically unable to receive the vaccine. While I strongly encourage Wyomingites over the age of 16 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is a personal choice based upon personal circumstances.”
The new directive also encouaged Wyoming’s counties, cities and towns, as well as private business, to follow the state’s example in providing access to public spaces and services to all.
This follows in the steps of other Republican governors across the country, such as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who have issued similar orders over the last month.
Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets of Nebraska said the idea of any type of medical passport “violates two central tenets of the American system: freedom of movement and health care privacy.”
Gordon had previously said he had no intention of implementing a vaccine passport, but Friday’s order made it official.
More than 180,000 Wyoming residents have been vaccinated against the virus, about 26% of the state’s population, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.
The governor again encouraged residents to get one of the three available vaccines.