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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gordon Removes Mask Orders, Lifts Restaurant And Bar Restrictions

Ivan Radic via CC BY 2.0

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon will remove the statewide mask requirement starting on March 16. In a press release sent out Monday morning, Gordon also announced he would lift all restrictions on bars, restaurants, theaters, and gyms, allowing them to resume normal operations on that same date.

The decision by the state was credited to Wyoming's "continually improving health metrics," including a declining number of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as the vaccine rollout. And while the statewide mask mandate will be going away, the face covering protocol in K-12 schools will remain in place.

In the press release, Gordon asked "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."

Travis Riddell is the Teton District Health Officer. He said the two variants identified in his county is one concern he has with lifting the restrictions. He also mentioned the timing.

"We have many visitors coming to Teton County and will continue to have them as long as our ski resorts are open. We have spring break coming up, which means not only people coming here, but also much of our local population will probably travel, and all of those are risk factors," he said.

Last week, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned against states opening back up too soon, and said, "Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities."

Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.

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