By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Public health orders limiting the size of outdoor and indoor gatherings will remain in place for at least two more weeks, Gov. Mark Gordon announced Tuesday.
However, the rules have been relaxed in some areas to allow indoor group close-contact activities such as sporting events.
Gordon had cited a desire to see the impacts of the Labor Day holiday and the reopening of K-12 schools for in-person learning before easing the current health orders, something he echoed in his news conference last week.
“Wyoming has really held its own; Schools are open and sports are being played on Fridays and Saturdays,” Gordon said in the release. “We want to be careful to avoid going backwards and losing the high ground we hold. Steady progress beats the alternative, which would be devastating to our businesses, our schools and our citizens.”
Restrictions on gatherings have been slowly eased over time. Health officials have continuously evaluated the easing of those restrictions and the resulting impact.
There were minimal issues identified as a result of outdoor contact sports resuming under the rules in August, Gordon said. Health officials will continue to take specific, measured steps in the easing of orders, as conditions warrant.
Health orders continue to allow outdoor gatherings of no more than 50% of a venue’s capacity, up to 1,000 people, as long as social distancing and increased sanitization measures are in place.
Indoor gatherings in a confined space remain limited to 50 persons without restrictions and 250 persons if social distancing and sanitization measures are incorporated.
The governor and state health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist noted that the procedures implemented by school districts across the state have been largely successful in limiting the spread of the virus.
Protocols including social distancing and mask usage by staff and students have been effective in preventing widespread outbreaks.
To date, no school buildings in Wyoming have been required to close.
Over the past 14 days, Wyoming has averaged approximately 31 new laboratory-confirmed cases per day, and the percent of COVID-19 tests with a positive result is 2.1.
As of September 15, Wyoming has recorded 3,762 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, 676 probable cases and 46 deaths. Nearly 138,000 tests have been completed by the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory and commercial reference laboratories.