social distancing

Wyoming Department of Education

State agencies and local officials are working together to come up with plans on how to reopen schools this fall after the coronavirus pandemic required them to shut down in the spring.

The Smart Start working group is part of a COVID-19 task force started by Gov. Mark Gordon. It includes representatives from the local school districts, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) and the state's education department.

We are social creatures. So it's no surprise that quarantine fatigue has begun to set in.

"Humans are wired to come together physically," says psychologist Judith Moskowitz of Northwestern University. But, loneliness has become widespread in modern life. And, social distancing has just exacerbated the problem, Moskowitz says.

Flickr Creative Commons/Jasperdo

Governor Mark Gordon gave county officials permission to apply for variances so they can begin lifting pandemic restrictions. Church services can now be held in Platte and Niobrara Counties, and Lincoln, Park and Natrona Counties will allow restaurants to offer dine-in services. 

Debony Hughes remembers driving last week to a national park in the nation's capital where not everyone was practicing social distancing.

"It was a beautiful day; it was really crowded. We noticed that there were so many people without masks," Hughes says, recalling that it made the friend she was with particularly angry. "She started screaming out of the car, 'Put on your mask! Where's your mask!' "

Tim Dennell via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

States in the Mountain West have seen protests against stay-at-home orders in recent days. Those protesters generally argue that the so-called cure to COVID-19 is worse than the disease itself. A recent analysis by University of Wyoming economists says otherwise.

Maggie Mullen

Last weekend, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) sold 153 nonresident fishing licenses, about the same number it sold during the same period of time last year.

Public Domain

Public health officials in Campbell County are warning the spread of the coronavirus in the community is likely wider than confirmed cases show.

There are five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Campbell County as of Wednesday evening, but the local public health department says it's monitoring 159 individuals who may have the disease. Those people and their families are in home-isolation.

Catherine Wheeler

Since health officials are asking residents to practice social distancing and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, a conservation group has decided to host its regular spring clean-up differently this year.

The Sheridan Community Land Trust will be hosting the clean-up of local trails and parks virtually.

“The snow’s going sideways, it’s swirling,” said Billy Barr, from the abandoned silver mine he lives in almost 10,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains.

We’re all social distancing these days, and it’s unclear when exactly that will end. But Barr has been doing this for almost 50 years. He’s the only full-time resident of Gothic, Colorado. 

“I'm the mayor and chief of police,” he said. “I hold elections every year but I don't tell anybody when they are, so it works out really well.”