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Gordon Officially Bans Vaccine Passports In Wyoming

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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.

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62 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Thursday; 480 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases decreased by 16 from on Thursday from Wednesday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 105 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 62 new laboratory-confirmed and 27 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 480 active cases. 

Laramie County had 102 active cases; Albany had 74; Sweetwater 51; Natrona 37; Uinta 35; Sheridan 31; Park and Teton 24; Carbon 19; Campbell 16; Fremont 11; Washakie 10; Converse and Lincoln nine; Niobrara seven; Big Horn and Sublette five; Goshen and Platte three; Hot Springs and Weston two, and Johnson one.

Crook County had no active cases on Thursday.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 58,527 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 57,337 have recovered.

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58 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Wednesday; 459 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases increased by 37 on Wednesday from Tuesday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 34 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 58 new laboratory-confirmed and 13 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 496 active cases. 

Laramie County had the highest active cases, with 90; Albany had 78; Sweetwater 54; Uinta 44; Natrona 39; Park 37; Sheridan 31; Carbon and Teton 17; Campbell 16; Fremont 15; Washakie 12; Lincoln 10; Converse nine; Niobrara and Sublette six; Weston four; Big Horn, Goshen and Platte three, and Hot Springs 2.

Crook and Johnson counties had no active cases.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 58,438 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 57,232 have recovered.

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Around 100 People Quarantined After Sheridan Schools Make Masks Voluntary

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State

Around 100 people have been quarantined due to a coronavirus outbreak in two Sheridan schools where requirements to use face masks were recently lifted.

An email sent out by Sheridan County School District No. 2 to families this week explained that there have been “small concentrations” of positive coronavirus vases at both Highland Park Elementary and Sheridan Junior High Schools. The email was shared by the Sheridan County Democratic Party on its social media.

“With the guidance of local health officials, schools are conducting contact tracing and requiring close contacts of positive cases to quarantine for 7-10 days,” the district said in the email. “At this point, each school has quarantined around 50 individuals.”

The district encouraged staff and students to be aware of the situation and to consider wearing masks to avoid contracting the virus or a possible quarantine.

“We ask that families discuss this matter at home and make informed decisions, knowing the risk of quarantine is very real,” the email said. “Please note that individuals who choose to wear face coverings and/or are fully vaccinated are NOT required to quarantine.”

Sheridan County currently has 14 total active cases.

“As we have shared many times, our primary objectives are to keep students and staff safe, keep schools open, and keep working families at work,” the email said.

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52 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Tuesday; 459 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases increased by 18 on Tuesday from Monday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 56 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 52 new laboratory-confirmed and 25 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 459 active cases. 

Laramie County had the most active cases at 84; Albany had 65; Sweetwater 57; Park and Uinta 39: Natrona 37; Sheridan 24; Carbon 17; Fremont 16; Campbell and Teton 15; Lincoln nine; Converse and Washakie seven; Big Horn and Sublette six; Niobrara and Weston four; Goshen and Platte three, and Hot Springs two.

Crook and Johnson counties had no active cases.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 58,367 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 57,198 have recovered.

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123 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Monday; 441 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases decreased by 39 on Monday from Friday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 187 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 123 new laboratory-confirmed and 25 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 441 active cases. 

Laramie County had the highest number of active cases, with 87; Albany had 63; Sweetwater 59; Natrona 35; Park 34; Uinta 30; Fremont 21; Teton 15; Campbell and Carbon 14; Sheridan 12; Big Horn 10; Lincoln eight; Sublette and Washakie seven; Converse six; Niobrara five; Hot Springs and Weston four, and Goshen and Platte three.

Crook and Johnson counties had no active cases as of Monday.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 58,290 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 57,142 have recovered.

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55 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Friday; 480 Active

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases decreased by four to end the week.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 77 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 55 new laboratory-confirmed and 18 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 480 active cases. 

Laramie County had the highest number of active cases at 99; Albany had 65; Sweetwater 62; Natrona 43; Fremont 40; Park 32; Uinta 23; Campbell 17; Sheridan 15; Sublette 14; Teton 13; Big Horn 12; Carbon 11; Goshen, Lincoln and Washakie five; Converse, Platte and Weston four; Hot Springs three; Niobrara two, and Crook and Johnson had one. 

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 58,142 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 56,955 have recovered.

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Teton County to Rescind Mask Order Early, Barring Spike In COVID Cases

in News/Coronavirus
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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.

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95 New Coronavirus Cases In Wyoming Wednesday; 517 Active

in News/Coronavirus
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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s active coronavirus cases increased by 115 on Wednesday from Tuesday.

Wyoming Department of Health figures showed that the department received reports of 11 new recoveries among those with confirmed or probable cases.

At the same time, the state reported 95 new laboratory-confirmed and 21 new probable cases, leaving Wyoming with 517 active cases. This is the first time that cases have topped 500 since March 1. 

Laramie County had the highest number of active cases at 108; while Albany increased to 71 cases. Meanwhile, Sweetwater had 66; Natrona 51; Fremont 44; Park 32; Uinta 28; Teton 20; Sublette 17; Campbell and Sheridan 14; Carbon 12; Big Horn and Goshen nine; Lincoln and Washakie five; Platte four; Weston three; Hot Springs two, and Converse, Crook and Johnson had one,

Niobrara County had no active cases.

Active cases are determined by adding the total confirmed and probable coronavirus cases diagnosed since the illness first surfaced in Wyoming on March 12, 2020, subtracting the number of recoveries during the same period among patients with both confirmed and probable cases and taking into account the number of deaths attributed to the illness.

The new confirmed and probable cases brought to 57,999 the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus since the first case was detected in Wyoming in March 2020.

Of those, 56,775 have recovered.

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Shoshoni Schools Granted Mask Exception

in News/Coronavirus
Now entering Shoshoni
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Students in Shoshoni are now exempt from wearing masks while at school, Fremont County School District 24 announced Wednesday morning.

Beginning Wednesday, students were not required to wear a mask or face covering while in school, but were welcome continue wearing them if they wished to do so.

“Please respect those that continue to mask as they may have a family member they are trying to protect,” the district said in an announcement Wednesday.

There are three schools in Shoshoni: Shoshoni Elementary, Shoshoni Junior High and Shoshoni High School.

The Wyoming Department of Health granted the district an exception this week, but noted it could be revoked in the event that coronavirus infections trend upward.

Students will still be required to wear masks while on the school bus, though.

“Our buses must conform to national transportation standards and requirements. Transportation will still be required to conform to national requirements regarding COVID-19,” the district said.

The district added that if a student or teacher is diagnosed with the coronavirus, there could be extensive contact tracing.

“Do your due diligence, continue to stop the spread, stay home when you don’t feel well, allow our kids the opportunity to receive instruction in person, and take care of yourself,” the district said. “We have been granted an exception, please respect that it is an exception and can be revoked. We are still working through logistics.”

The district is following in the steps of many others across Wyoming that have received exemptions from mask usage, including Torrington, Cody and more.

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