The following is a press release from the Office of Governor Mark Gordon:
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Mark Gordon has thanked the people of Wyoming for their diligence.
“You have done what was asked and have helped to flatten the curve,” he said, “We are, and have been open for business.”
Wyoming’s existing statewide orders are consistent with “Phase One” of President Trump’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, the Governor continued, and will remain in place until April 30. Governor Gordon acknowledged that there remain serious shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supplies around the state.
The Governor emphasized that the current orders were put in place to protect Wyoming’s citizens’ health and to save lives, and that the public’s continued adherence to the guidelines is crucial to the state’s recovery efforts. The state will rely on a transition plan that protects lives and is driven by health data.
“What we do in the coming weeks will determine the way we can ease these orders and rekindle our economy,” Governor Gordon said. “I recognize the tremendous sacrifice we all have had to make, but it has been worth it. We have saved lives.”
“Our transition into a new phase must be health data-driven, not date driven,” Governor Gordon continued. “If the people of Wyoming continue to do the right thing and we see the improvements we need to see, we will continue our transition to a stabilized economy. We need our economy back, but we must avoid a resurgence of this virus.”
The Gordon administration is developing a plan for that transition phase. The plan will involve the close monitoring of data on the spread of the virus and its impacts on hospitals. It also will involve ensuring that testing increases and healthcare providers have necessary equipment.
“As the state develops its path forward, consideration will be given to impacts on vulnerable populations, including older individuals and those living in long-term care facilities,” State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said.
Any plan to ease current restrictions will also start with continued social distancing protocols and new operational guidelines for businesses. Wyoming’s transition will also involve collaboration with neighboring states. A regional approach is important, Governor Gordon said, to help prevent a flood of new cases potentially being brought in from out-of-state residents after restrictions are eased.
“We have got to get this right,” Governor Gordon said. “We are living in a time where the new reality is that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. Until we have a vaccine or a treatment, things are going to be different.”
As of April 17, Wyoming has confirmed 305 cases of COVID-19 and 107 probable cases. There have been two deaths. Additional information on the state’s transition is slated to be unveiled in the next week.