Public Health Order: Mask Mandate


On November 18, the Lincoln County Public Health Officer Dr. G. Christopher Krell, M.D., along with the support and authorization of Alexia Harrist, M.D., Ph.D, the Wyoming Stat Health Officer, issued a public health order requiring all adults within Lincoln County to wear face coverings in certain places open to the public until Dec. 4.

Following the order, the Lincoln County Commissioners published a letter saying they “had hoped the order would be a recommendation only,” but they recognize that “experts in the medical field are best suited to understand the effects of COVID-19.” The commission recognizes that the Public Health Officials have the authority for the mask mandate, The Commission asked citizens to be respectful and understanding during this time.

Sheriff Shane Johnson published a letter to citizens on the evening of Nov. 18. Stating that he believes that masks should be a choice and it is not the job of the Sheriff’s Office to police it. However, Sheriff Johnson states that he understands the coverings protect oneself and others from transmission, so he is requiring all staff to. Wear one. Sheriff Johnson also stated that he believes business owners have the right to require mask in their stores.

 

The Public Health Order 2020-3

According to the order, “Wyoming Statue 35-1-240 (a)(i), (ii) and (iii) gives power to the Wyoming Department of Health, through the State Health Officer or under her direction and supervision, or through other employees of the Department of Health to investigate and control the causes or epidemic affecting the public health, and to establish, maintain and enforce isolation and quarantine, and in pursuance thereof, and for such purposes only, to exercise such physical control over property and over the people within this state as the State Health Officer may find necessary for the protection of the public health…”

This Wyoming State statute says that the department of health through the state health officer or through his direction and supervision is able to investigate and control the causes epidemics and other diseases and afflictions, maintain and enforce quarantine and isolation, close public places and forbid gatherings, approve and require standard diagnostic tests, purchase and distribute vaccines, serums and other approved products and enforce sanitary standards in places of public need and gathering in order to protect the public health.

The public health order states that the mask mandate comes from the number of Wyoming residents at risk from serious health complications from COVID-19.

The order state that face coverings must be worn inside or in line for “any retail or commercial business, or any government facility…excluding state and federal buildings.” Face masks must also be worn when receiving any kind of healthcare, including animal healthcare as well as any sore of public transport or ride-sharing vehicle such as a taxi, according to the order.

Face coverings are not required in a personal office as long as the public is not visiting the room, for minors, when seated at a table of a restaurant, when inside a location providing shelter care of some kind, if there is a medical condition preventing wearing a mask, when communication with someone who is hearing impaired, if it would create a work hazard, to confirm identity, when receiving a service involving the face or nose and when actively exercising in a gym.

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