On March 8, Gov. Mark Gordon announced the end of the Wyoming mask mandate in a press release. According to the press release, the mandate will end on March 16. This announcement also allows bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms to resume normal operations on March 16. The declining number of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as well as successful roll-out of the vaccine is cited by the press release as the main cause for lowered restrictions.
“I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic,” Governor Gordon said in the press release. “It is through their efforts that we have kept our schools and businesses operating and our economy moving forward. I ask all Wyoming citizens to continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent as we look ahead to the warmer months and to the safe resumption of our traditional spring and summer activities.”
According to the press release, the face-covering protocol will remain in place in K-12 schools.
“Wyoming is one of the few states in the country that kept students learning in the classroom for the entire school year. We made sacrifices, but the earlier orders saved lives. We persevered,” said Gov. Gordon in the press release. “With this approach we can have graduations, proms and a great end to the school year by keeping schools open. Especially since our children will not have the chance to be vaccinated this spring.”
Nearly 100,000 first doses have been administered and 19% of the state’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the press release.
The press release by Gov. Gordon came just as the Lincoln County Public Health announced an increase in eligible groups for the vaccine pre-registration form.
These groups include the rest of phase 1b as well as groups eligible in phase 1c. People eligible to register for the COVID-19 vaccine include grocery store employees; those with medical conditions outlined in the update posted Feb. 22; USPS, UPS and Fed Ex employees; caregivers caring for a person who is at high risk of COVID-19 illness and cannot receive the vaccine; persons on the Wyoming Community Choices Waiver or the Developmental Disabilities Waiver; workforce service center employees; driver’s license services employees; port of entry employees; parole and probation officers; veterinarians; court system employees; utility and communications employees who must go into private homes; non-law enforcement security officers that must have in-person close interactions, are unable to physically distance and unable to provide services virtually; attorneys; judges; court personnel necessary for in-person criminal hearings or trials; custodial staff responsible for cleaning areas known to have been contaminated by people positive for COVID-19; those ages 50-64 years; those with the following conditions: moderate to severe asthma, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, liver disease, overweight (BMI 25-30), pulmonary fibrosis, and/or Thalessemia; essential critical workforce who are unable to physically distance or telework, including those in critical manufacturing, energy, legal, communications and information technology, financial services, chemical workers, other community or government based operations and essential functions, water and wastewater, transportation and logistics, law enforcement, public safety, other first responders, education, food and agriculture, public works and infrastructure support services, hygiene products and services, residential/shelter facilities, housing and real estate and related services, hazardous materials, healthcare and public health, commercial facilities, defense industrial base; and those living in dormitories.
The health department emphasized that these categories are for pre-registration on their website and names will be added to a contact list. According to their Facebook post, it can take two or more weeks for scheduling. The public health department has the Moderna vaccine for distribution.