By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Albany County Public Health Officer is extending its mask mandate until Jan. 4, the office announced Tuesday morning.
The order was first enacted on Nov. 6 and has been extended at the request of county health officer Dr. Jean Allais. Wyoming Public Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist approved the extension.
This is the first example of a mask order being extended into the new year in any Wyoming counties.
There will be slight amendments to the order, such as requiring business employees to wear masks while working near each other, not just while working in public spaces.
The mask order will also now apply to children 12 and older.
The mandate will also be waived in situations where law enforcement officers request mask removal to aid in the identification of people.
“Continued high rates of transmission support a continued mask mandate in Albany County,” Allais said.
Albany County is seeing more than 30% of infection rates due to community spread. The University of Wyoming sent students home earlier than expected due to spikes in the county.
Mask orders have been implemented in numerous counties across Wyoming, although Gov. Mark Gordon has been hesitant to implement a statewide one. Gordon recently tested positive for the coronavirus and is recovering.