Gordon Skips Additional Public Health Orders During Record COVID-19 Numbers

Sep 24, 2020

Despite a record high number of 941 active COVID-19 cases in Wyoming as of Thursday, Gov. Mark Gordon announced in a press conference that there would be no new public health orders.

"I'm not interested in imposing additional health orders because we know that things are working and that taking simple steps can prevent transmission and protect our residents," he said at Thursday's press conference.

Gordon said he has "continued to emphasize the importance of personal responsibility throughout this pandemic."

The state also saw the highest number of hospitalizations earlier this week, when that reached 23 on Monday. This week also marked the first occurrence of consecutive days where more than 100 cases were confirmed.

The current surge isn't tied to a single cluster, as it has earlier this year. Instead, transmissions are happening in several different places, including businesses, long-term care facilities, K-12 extracurriculars, as well as public and private social gatherings. However, transmission does not appear to be high in K-through-12 classrooms. For that reason, the Wyoming Department of Health is changing quarantine protocols for schools. For instance, quarantine is no longer required if a potential exposure occurs where both the infected student and close contacts were wearing face coverings.

Dr. Alexia Harrist also spoke at the press conference, and warned Wyomingites of the coming flu season.

"Because there are fewer restrictions in Wyoming now than in the spring, the potential harm to our residents and potential strain on our healthcare system from the combined threat of both influenza and COVID-19 could be significant," she said.

The Wyoming Department of Health urges people aged six months and older to get a flu shot.

"We do ask people to get flu shots every year, and this time it's more important than ever," said Harrist.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Maggie Mullen, at mmullen5@uwyo.edu.