Gov. Gordon to remove statewide mask requirement


WYOMING -- Gov. Mark Gordon announced this morning that Wyoming will remove its statewide mask requirement and allow bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms to resume normal operations starting Tuesday, March 16.

The governor's office said the decision reflects the state's continually improving health metrics and is consistent with the governor's approach of balancing public health with protecting livelihoods.

Wyoming's number of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have declined in recent weeks and the governor's office said the state has seen significant success with vaccine rollout.

"I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic," Gov. Gordon said in a release. "It is through their efforts that we have kept our schools and businesses operating and our economy moving forward. I ask all Wyoming citizens to continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent as we look ahead to the warmer months and to the safe resumption of our traditional spring and summer activities."

Nearly 100,000 first doses have been administered and 19 percent of Wyoming residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. Nearly all counties in the state have began entering Phase 1C of the vaccination rollout, which includes restaurant, bar, gym and theater workers.

Gov. Gordon still encouraged Wyomingites to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and to follow practices adopted to slow the spread of the virus. The significant changes to the health orders will be released later in the week but, according to a statement, Gordon wanted to make sure the public knew of the important change today.

Face covering protocols will remain in place in K-12 schools as a safety measure to ensure classroom learning and all student activities can continue to occur safely.

"Wyoming is one of the few states in the country that kept students learning in the classroom for the entire school year. We made sacrifices, but the earlier orders saved lives. We persevered," Gordon said. "With this approach we can have graduations, proms and a great end to the school year by keeping schools open. Especially since our children will not have the chance to be vaccinated this spring."

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