The Laramie City Council will consider a resolution at the next available meeting that would request Albany County officials work with the state to require the wearing of masks in public places.
Councilman Paul Weaver considered bringing a walk-on item for Tuesday’s agenda in the form of a resolution. But before the meeting began, council members opted to consider the measure at the next available meeting.
Council has a joint meeting scheduled July 14 with the Albany County Commission and the Wyoming Department of Transportation, but will plan on holding a special meeting on face masks afterward. If that doesn’t work, council will attempt to hold a special meeting on the evening of July 15. Failing that, council will consider the measure during a July 28 work session.
Because Albany County is generally responsible for public health orders, the city’s resolution would be a formal request for Albany County Health Officer Jean Allais to work with the state on a city-wide mask requirement.
Weaver said he wanted to see a mandate that requires masks to be worn inside public spaces with exceptions for things like eating and drinking in a restaurant or bar.
With many local institutions such as the University of Wyoming, Ivinson Memorial Hospital and several businesses already requiring masks, Weaver said it makes sense to implement a city-wide order.
“I think the data is backing it up as far as having an impact on coronavirus spread, so why would we not do that?” he said.
The Jackson Town Council on Friday had an emergency special meeting to approve a mask requirement before the holiday weekend, the Jackson Hole Daily reported. The requirement applies only in the town limits of Jackson and could be overridden by a countywide order. Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said recently he would make wearing masks in public compulsory nationwide if elected.
Meanwhile, the Wyoming Department of Health confirmed four new cases of coronavirus in Albany County on Tuesday, setting a new record for the county’s daily COVID-19 numbers.
The four-person total surpassed the county’s previous record set March 18, when WDH confirmed three new cases.
Since the pandemic began, the state’s figures put the county total at 39, with another four Albany County residents deemed “probable” for having contracted COVID-19.
The number of active cases, as reported by WDH, in the county currently sits at 12.
40% of the county’s cases have been determined to have been caused by community spread or another unknown reason; that’s higher than the state average of 26.7%.
At least 61% of the county’s cases have also come in residents aged 19-29. Only 25% of the statewide cases have occurred within that age group.
Meanwhile, Wyoming’s current number continues to dwarf the previous spike in early April, when the 14-day average in new cases peaked at 13.71 on April 8.
Wyoming’s 14-day average is now at 25.86 cases, with another record — 39 new cases — set Monday.