Gordon presser

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon speaks during a press conference Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at the state Capitol in downtown Cheyenne. Gordon announced that Wyoming’s current public health orders will remain in place through Aug. 15 as COVID-19 cases statewide continue to rise.

CHEYENNE – As Wyoming reported its single-day record for increase in lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday, Gov. Mark Gordon announced the state’s current public health orders have been extended through Aug. 15.

The 64 new cases reported Wednesday – the same day the state’s 26th death from the virus was announced – came about a week after the state reported its previous single-day high of 62 cases July 20.

The three orders, which have been in place since June 15 after a gradual loosening of earlier restrictions, allow for enclosed gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 250, with some exemptions for faith-based groups.

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gordon said the state was approaching a critical time for its economy, noting how COVID-19 setbacks have forced other Republican governors in states like Texas and Arizona to temporarily close bars.

“We’re trying to make sure that we find that balance that doesn’t impinge on people and make sure that we’re open. But make no mistake: this economy can be closed if people are careless,” Gordon said.

Gordon said many of Wyoming’s new cases have come from gatherings of family and friends “in close proximity,” and as he often has during the pandemic that has killed nearly 150,000 Americans, the governor emphasized the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask.

“It’s really simple – if you’re dead set on taking down Wyoming’s economy, don’t wear this,” Gordon said, gesturing to the mask draped around his neck.

The extended public health orders also include a modification meant to address school reopenings, requiring students and teachers to wear face coverings in situations – both indoors and outdoors – where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Earlier this week, the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security and Wyoming Department of Education announced a partnership to distribute 500,000 cloth face coverings to school districts around the state. School districts have been asked to submit individualized plans to the Wyoming Department of Education by Aug. 3.

“The ‘one size fits all’ (approach) doesn’t work,” Gordon said of schools reopening. “But I hope every Wyoming citizen and every Wyoming parent and every Wyoming student pays attention to the kind of responsible behavior that we’ve talked about right from the start: making sure that you wash hands, making sure that you keep a socially respectful distance of 6 to 8 feet and wearing (a mask).”

There were also a few positives within the state’s COVID-19 numbers that the governor mentioned during his press conference. Wyoming’s positive test rate currently sits at about 3% of all tests conducted, while the nationwide positive rate hovers around 10%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, Alaska is the only state with fewer COVID-19 deaths than Wyoming.

Yet Gordon maintained the next few weeks will prove critical for the state, both as it revamps its economy and as schools districts across the state plan their reopenings.

“Let’s make sure that we have a successful fall, because that’s what’s going to be important for us to get out of this economic slump,” Gordon said.

(6) comments

TheReplacement

“It’s really simple – if you’re dead set on taking down Wyoming’s economy, don’t wear this,”

No governor, you've a disgusting demagogue that has already destroyed the Wyoming economy with your illegal lock downs for a flu virus with a death rate of .000045 (includes pre-existing conditions ). Your case numbers are a scam which can be manipulated in every way to keep your illegal lock downs in place to feed the fear you've generated among the non-critical thinking population. The science is conclusive that masks are useless and medically harmful to the user. Any parent who makes their young children wear a mask is excessively cruel. The household pulse survey data published yesterday indicates that 44% of Wyoming renters face eviction at the end of this week when the national rent moratorium expires all due to your illegal lock downs. I will give you your due though governor. Your illegal lock downs have inspired me to buy some gym equipment (without paying sales tax) so that I never have to use a gym again. In addition, for the cost of one haircut, I have obtained some clippers (once again sans sales tax) so that I never have to go to a barber anymore. Good job destroying those two businesses.

rick710

Once again TheReplacement has made wild assertions about masks and death rate. Please cite evidence for your extreme claims.

TheReplacement

Well rick the death rate is simple arithmetic. You can perform arithmetic can't you? If so, what death rate do you come up with? We can then compare answers.

Regarding masks, you simply need to read the letters to the editor section of the Sunday paper. You can read, can't you? If so, and you still disagree with all the scientific research referenced, then provide you own research. If you can't do that, you're merely wasting keystrokes here and saying nothing.

HarleyRider

Quote from the governor of the great state of Wyoming "It’s really simple – if you’re dead set on taking down Wyoming’s economy, don’t wear this". Folks, let me translate that for you: "Sheep and Slaves, you will wear this symbol of submission or we will send the gun-thugs to close your businesses and bankrupt you! Do as we say or else! Do not think... or consider the true nature of the situation, just do what we say or else!" There ya go my friends... that's my take on it anyway. Does that sound like an advocate for freedom to you?

Brett Glass

He's advocating only weakly for freedom. He should advocate more strongly for our freedom not to be infected by mandating masks.

TheReplacement

Only the mask wearers will get infected but I warned them. So sad they didn't heed.

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