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Wyoming: State-by-State COVID-19 Guidance

WYOMING

February 25, 2021:

On February 25, 2021, the Wyoming Department of Public Health announced changes to public health orders related to COVID-19. The revisions will take effect on March 1 and will include the following relaxed measures:

  • Elimination of Order #3, thereby allowing for continued business at salons, barber shops, cosmetology services, etc.
  • Further easing of restrictions on indoor and outdoor events, including increases in event sizes.
  • Lessening of restrictions on organized sports and artistic performances.
  • Further easing of restrictions on restaurants, allowing for 10-member groups to be seated together.
  • Reduced requirements pertaining to staff screening logs and signage.

The statewide order for mask use remains in effect.

February 18, 2021:

On February 18, 2021, the Wyoming Department of Health announced that weather conditions across the nation are temporarily delaying shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to the state. In light of the delays, WDH’s Community Health Section Chief has stated that individuals who are awaiting their second dose can receive the vaccine when it becomes available without needing to “start over.” Residents can continue view vaccine distribution details and complete pre-registration here.

February 16, 2021:

On February 11, 2021, Wyoming’s State Health Officer Alexia Harrist issued public health orders addressing statewide business operations and statewide gatherings. The orders are effective through February 28, 2021. The health order continues to require that face coverings be worn in various settings, including businesses, state buildings, and healthcare facilities. Additionally, the requirement covers individuals waiting for or riding public transportation, including ride share services and the drivers of these services.

Previous orders addressing restaurants, schools, gymnasiums, personal service businesses, and statewide gatherings are also now set expire on February 28, 2021 but have been updated:

  • The one person per 120 square feet restriction has been removed for gyms and swimming pools.
  • The allowable group size in certain businesses has increased from 6 to 8 individuals.
  • Gatherings are now allowed to be up to 25 people.
  • The maximum number of people allowed at certain indoor events is now 500.
  • The maximum number of people allowed at certain outdoor events is now 1,000.

January 25, 2021:

On January 2, Wyoming’s State Health Officer Alexia Harrist extended Governor Gordon’s mandatory face coverings initially set to expire today. The new orders are effective through February 14, 2021. The health order continues to require that face coverings be worn in various settings, including businesses, state buildings, and healthcare facilities. Additionally, the requirement covers individuals waiting for or riding public transportation, including ride share services, and the drivers of these services. Previous orders addressing restaurants, schools, gymnasiums, personal service businesses, and statewide gatherings are also now set expire on February 14, 2021.

January 11, 2021:

On January 2, Wyoming’s State Health Officer Alexia Harrist extended Governor Gordon’s mandatory face coverings initially set to expire January 9. The new orders are effective through January 25. The health order requires face coverings in the following settings:

  • Inside or in line to enter a business or state building open to the public, including healthcare facilities
  • While waiting for or riding public transportation, including ride share services such as Uber and Lyft. This includes drivers when actively transporting passengers.

Businesses are required to post notices regarding the mandatory face coverings near the entrance of the establishment and employees are required to wear them while within 6 feet of other employees or customers.

Harrist also extended the health orders for restaurants, schools, gymnasiums, personal services business, and statewide gatherings initially set to expire January 8, 2021, through January 25.

On December 7, Governor Gordon announced mandatory face coverings in certain indoor settings, reduced group sizes, and reduce business hours for certain types of businesses. The new orders took effect December 9 and extended through January 8, 2021.

On November 19, Governor Gordon announced new health orders to take effect November 24. While the new orders did not call for business closures, it did reduce the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings. According to Health Order No. 2, both indoor and outdoor gatherings without social distancing-related restrictions are restricted to no more than 25 people. If social distancing-related restrictions are in place, then indoor gatherings are limited to 25% of venue capacity with a max of 100 people and outdoor gatherings are restricted to 50% of venue capacity with a max of 250 people. Churches and funerals, in addition to other event types, are exempt.

November 5, 2020:

On October 30, 2020, State Health Officer Alexia Harrist extended three statewide orders establishing restrictions on business operations, schooling and public gatherings. Those orders allowed indoor entities with social distancing and sanitation measures in place to host 250 people in the building (businesses which chose not implement such measures are limited to 50 people) and outdoor gatherings were limited to 50% of the venue’s capacity with a maximum of 1,000 people. The public health orders are in effect until November 15.

In addition, Gov. Mark Gordon announced on October 31 that he was increasing contact tracing in the state by bringing a Wyoming-based company, Walter Hall Research, to assist with tracing as the Wyoming National Guard ramps down its assistance in the first week of November.

September 30, 2020:

Governor Gordon’s extended public health orders expired on September 30. Those orders allowed indoor entities with social distancing and sanitation measures in place to host 250 people in the building (businesses which chose not implement such measures are limited to 50 people) and outdoor gatherings were limited to 50% of the venue’s capacity with a maximum of 1,000 people. Governor Gordon’s new health order for food establishments, effective October 1 through 15, allows restaurants and other food establishments to now seat groups up to eight people as opposed to only six. All other restrictions remain in place.

September 21, 2020:

Governor Gordon extended the public health orders set to expire on September 15. The new orders now expire September 30. However, the extended orders did not necessarily mean more restrictions for Wyoming residents. In fact, the gatherings order now permits indoor close-contact group activities and sports such as basketball. The other indoor gathering restrictions remain unchanged—entities with social distancing and sanitation measures in place may allow up to 250 people in the building and businesses which chose to not implement such measures are limited to 50 people. The limitation for outdoor gatherings remains at 50% of the venue’s capacity with a maximum of 1,000 people.

September 3, 2020:

Governor Mark Gordan announced the extension of Wyoming’s public health orders through September 15. The orders continue to permit outdoor gatherings of 50% or less of the venue’s occupancy limit for a maximum of 1,000 people and indoor gatherings of 50 people with no restrictions or 250 people if social distancing and frequent sanitization is implemented. The orders for restaurants, fitness centers, performance spaces, and personal care services also remain unchanged.

August 12, 2020:

On August 12, Governor Gordon announced the extension of health orders and easing of outdoor gathering limits. The public health restrictions that apply to restaurants, bars, gyms and performance spaces will now remain in place through August 31. As a reminder, those orders provide that:

  • Restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments may continue to provide indoor and outdoor services under the following requirements, amongst others: (1) table size limited to six people; (2) placement of tables allows six feet between patrons of another table; (3) staff must wear face coverings if within six feet of other staff and/or customers; (4) employees must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and activity logs are kept.
  • Gyms may operate so long as staff wear face coverings if within six feet of customers and/or other staff, all employees are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and an activity log is kept, lockers are assigned to individual patrons, and group classes are limited to 50 people who must maintain six feet of distance between each other.
  • Movie and performance theaters and other similar establishments may operate if groups of patrons seated together are limited to six, employees are screened and their activities are logged, appropriate face coverings are worn by the staff and any food service follows the requirements specific to restaurants, bars, etc.
  • Gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, continue to be restricted to 50 people with certain industry exemptions (e.g. grocery stores, gas stations, government facilities, treatment centers, retail establishments, and churches)
  • Salons, massage therapy services, and cosmetology centers must maintain the following standards, amongst others: (1) six feet of separation between all patrons and limit the number of patrons such that this distance is possible, (2) wear face coverings when possible; and (3) abide by the 50 person limit.

Public Health Order No. 2 has been updated to allow outdoor gatherings of no more than 50% of venue capacity, with a maximum of 1,000 people as long as social distancing and increased sanitization measures are in place. Indoor gatherings in a confined space remain limited to 50 persons without restrictions and 250 persons if social distancing and sanitization measures are incorporated.

July 29, 2020:

On July 28, Governor Gordon announced the current public health orders, titled the Ninth Continuation and Modification of Statewide Public Health Orders, will be extended through August 15. Those orders provide that:

  • Restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments may continue to provide indoor and outdoor services under the following requirements, among others: (1) table size limited to six people; (2) placement of tables allows six feet between patrons of another table; (3) staff must wear face coverings if within six feet of other staff and/or customers; (4) employees must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and activity logs are kept.
  • Gyms may operate so long as staff wear face coverings if within six feet of customers and/or other staff, all employees are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and an activity log is kept, lockers are assigned to individual patrons, and group classes are limited to 50 people who must maintain six feet of distance between each other.
  • Movie and performance theaters and other similar establishments may operate if groups of patrons seated together are limited to six, employees are screened and their activities are logged, appropriate face coverings are worn by the staff and any food service follows the requirements specific to restaurants, bars, etc.
  • Gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, continue to be restricted to 50 people with certain industry exemptions (such as grocery stores, gas stations, government facilities, treatment centers, retail establishments, and churches)
  • Salons, massage therapy services, and cosmetology centers must maintain the following standards, among others: (1) six feet of separation between all patrons and limit the number of patrons such that this distance is possible, (2) wear face coverings when possible; and (3) abide by the 50 person limit.

July 15, 2020:

Governor Gordon announced new public orders effective July 16 through July 31 as an extension of the previous orders from July 6 to July 15. The extension is a result of continued COVID-19 cases.

  • Restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments may continue to provide indoor and outdoor services under the following requirements among others: (1) table size limited to six people; (2) placement of tables allows six feet between patrons of another table; (3) staff must wear face coverings if within six feet of other staff and/or customers; (4) employees must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and activity logs are kept.
  • Gyms may operate so long as staff wear face coverings if within six feet of customers and/or other staff, all employees are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and an activity log is kept, lockers are signed to individual patrons, and group classes are limited to 50 people who must maintain six feet of distance.
  • Movie and performance theaters and other similar establishments may operate if groups of patrons are limited to six, employees are screened and their activities are logged, appropriate face coverings are worn by the staff and any food service follows the requirements specific to restaurants, bars, etc.
  • Gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, continue to be restricted to 50 people with certain industries exemptions (e.g. grocery stores, gas stations, government facilities, treatment centers, retail establishments, and churches)
  • Salons, massage therapy services, and cosmetology centers must maintain the following standards, among others: (1) six feet of separation between all patrons and limit patrons such that this distance is possible, (2) wear face coverings when possible, and abide by the 50-person limit.

Additional guidance on Wyoming’s COVID-19 orders can be found here.

July 14, 2020:

Governor Gordon announced new public orders effective from July 16 through July 31 as an extension of previous orders from July 6 to July 15. The extension is a result of continued COVID-19 cases.

  • Restaurants, bars, and other food service establishment may continue to provide indoor and outdoor services under the following requirement among others: (1) table size limited to six people; (2) placement of tables allows six feet between patrons of another table; (3) staff must wear face coverings if within six feet of other staff and/or customers; (4) employees must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and activity logs must be kept.
  • Gyms may operate so long as staff wear face coverings if within six feet of customers and/or other staff, all employees are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and an activity log is kept, lockers are signed to individual patrons, and group classes are limited to 50 people who must maintain six feet of distance.

Movie and performance theaters and other similar establishments may operate if groups of patrons are limited to six, employees are screened and their activities are logged, appropriate face coverings are worn by the staff and any food service follows the requirements specific to restaurants and bars.

July 13, 2020:

On Thursday, July 9, Governor Gordon announced his plans to allocate $1.25 billion received from the federal government under the CARES Act. For example, Governor Gordon allocated $100 million to fund the Wyoming Business Council’s Business Interruption Stipend Program which provides grants up to $50,000 for eligible businesses. Eligible businesses are those with up to 50 employees and are headquartered or primarily operate in Wyoming. Additionally, the governor allocated $15 million to the Wyoming Community Development Authority’s eviction prevention program. Governor Gordon also allocated $7 million for businesses to purchase PPE.

July 1, 2020:

Governor Gordon announced new public orders would permit indoor gatherings with up to 250 people (with certain restrictions) and K-12 schools and institutes of higher education could resume in-person classes. Daycares were also permitted to eliminate all restrictions in place from the previous public health orders. The orders were set to expire yesterday, June 30. However, Governor Gordon ultimately decided to extend the orders through July 15 due to the resurge of COVID-19 cases. More specifically, the following directives were given effective today (July 1):

  • Indoor gatherings are now restricted to 50 people with certain industries exempt (e.g. grocery stores, gas stations, retail establishments, and churches)
  • Restaurants, bars, and other food service establishments may provide indoor and outdoor services under the following requirements among others: (1) table size limited to six people; (2) placement of tables allows six feet between patrons of another table; (3) staff must wear face coverings if within six feet of other staff and/or customers; (3) employees must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and activity logs are kept.
  • Gyms may operate so long as staff wear face coverings if within six feet of customers and/or other staff, all employees are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and an activity log is kept, lockers are signed to individual patrons, and group classes are limited to 50 people.
  • Movie and performance theaters and other similar establishments may operate if groups of patrons are limited to six, employees are screened and their activities are logged, appropriate face coverings are worn by the staff and any food service follows the requirements specific to restaurants, bars, etc.

Similar requirements are also in place for personal services businesses such as beauty salons and tattoo shops. Schools and institutes of higher education are still permitted to offer in-person classes but groups must be limited to 50 people including students and the teacher(s).

June 30, 2020:

On June 30, Governor Gordon announced his plan to extend all public health orders through July 15 due to the increase in cases.

June 29, 2020:

On June 29, Governor Gordon announced his plan to extend all public health orders through July 15 due to the increase in cases.

June 22, 2020:

On June 22, 2020, Governor Gordon issued updated guidance on in-person visitation at long-term care facilities in designated outdoor spaces. A trained staff member of the facility will be required to remain with the visitor at all times. Visitors are limited to two persons at a time, are subject to screenings for symptoms of respiratory illness, and are required to wear face coverings.

May 29, 2020:

Governor Gordan has announced that beginning June 1, 2020, outdoor gatherings with up to 250 people are permitted. This includes sporting events and rodeos. Hosts of these events will be required to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms and provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Food and beverage service is also permitted so long as the guidance is followed. Indoor events and gatherings, with the exception of places of worship, are restricted to groups of 25 or fewer.

Also, effective June 1, restaurants, food courts, cafes, etc. may resume allowing on-site food and beverage consumption under the following conditions:

  • All guests are seated at tables;
  • Groups are limited to 6 people at one table (businesses are the exception if all group members reside in the same household);
  • Tables are spaced at least 6 feet apart but preferably 10 feet on all sides;
  • Signage is posted throughout the facility reminding people to practice social distancing and at the entrance to the building;
  • Staff working within 6 feet of other staff or customers must wear face coverings and perform hand hygiene between interactions;
  • Cups, lids, napkins, and straws must be directly provided to customers by staff (i.e. so self-dispensing stations);
  • All menus, tables, chairs, and other tabletop items (condiments, salt and pepper shakers, etc.) must be sanitized between each guest(s);
  • Hand sanitizer must be available at the entrance and near all bathrooms:
  • No self-serve food services or buffets are available unless the food is pre-packaged, and new cups/glassware must be obtained for refills;
  • Gloves are required when handling ready-to-eat food; and
  • Playgrounds remain closed and no karaoke, darts, pool games, or dances may take place.

Gymnasiums and fitness centers may also begin to reopen on a limited basis. Staff must wear face coverings if within 6 feet of patrons and be screened for illnesses. Locker rooms may be used group classes are limited to 25 people. However, saunas and spas must remain closed. Finally, theaters and concert halls may reopen under certain conditions. Finally, childcare centers may also reopen and K-12 schools, colleges, or trade schools may resume in person classes beginning June 15 under certain conditions.

There are also new public health orders for businesses which provide personal care services which are effective June 1-June 15, 2020.

May 21, 2020:

Yesterday, Governor Gordan announced three pieces of legislation passed by the state’s legislature. One of the bills, H.B. 1004, established three programs to provide financial relief to impacted businesses (Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend Program, Coronavirus Business Relief Stipend Program, and Coronavirus Mitigation Stipend Program). Businesses with 50 or fewer employees are eligible to receive grants up to $50,000. Businesses with up to 100 employees qualify to receive a stipend of up to $300,000 and businesses of all sizes qualify for up to $500,000 to cover COVID-19 related expenses.

May 14, 2020:

Yesterday, Governor Gordon updated three public health orders which will allow restaurants to resume indoor and outdoor dine-in services so long as the tables are adequately spread out and employees were face coverings. Other businesses such as churches, funeral homes, and movie theaters are permitted to reopen under similar restrictions. Additionally, fitness facilities may allow for personal training, group classes, and the use of locker rooms. These orders will take effect May 15.

May 8, 2020:

Yesterday, May 7, 2020, Governor Gordon announced his plans to call a special legislative session on May 15, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to discuss how government funds and other resources will be used to assist businesses and residents financially impacted by COVID-19. Due to social distancing requirements, the session will be livestreamed. The proposed bills for the special session are posted online here.

April 30, 2020:

Today, April 30, 2020, Wyoming’s shelter in place order officially expires. In its place, Governor Gordon announced three new public health orders to take effect tomorrow, May 1. The first order modifies Governor Gordon’s order which required the closure of bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms, daycares and schools and university. Under the new order, certain businesses must remain closed unless the state health officer and health officer for the business’s respective county approves a “countywide variance order.” The businesses which must remain closed are as follows: (1) restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, etc. offering on-site consumption; (2) bars, taverns, wineries, etc. offering on-site consumption: (3) cigar bars; and (4) movie theaters, concert halls, opera houses, etc. Otherwise, gyms and daycare centers are permitted to reopen with some conditions. For example, gym employees must be screened for respiratory illness or possible exposure to an infected person at the beginning of their shift and wear a face mask at all times. Symptomatic employees or those with known exposure to an infected person must not be permitted to work. Certain close-contact and group activities such as group classes, weight lifting with a spotter and one-on-one personal training are also restricted. Furthermore, the facility must take additional measures to limit the spread such as keeping the locker rooms, saunas, and spas closed (with the exception of restrooms), arranging workout equipment to be six feet apart, limiting the number of people in a given section to nine at one time, and having handwashing stations and/or hand sanitizer readily available. Childcare providers must restrict groups of individuals, including student and teacher, to nine or less per room and all children and staff must be screened daily for respiratory illnesses. Finally, K-12 schools and institutes of higher education are not permitted to resume in-person classes until May 18 or later unless a countywide variance order is granted.

Governor Gordon’s second order is applicable to personal care services establishments such as hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors. Such establishments may reopen subject to the following conditions: (1) no more than nine people are permitted in an enclosed space or room: (2) work/service stations must be at least six feet apart; (3) staff must be screened for respiratory illnesses at the beginning of the shift and wear face coverings; (4) customers must also wear face coverings to the extent possible and can be seen by appointment only (i.e., no walk-ins permitted); and (5) customers may not remain in a waiting area prior to receiving services.

Governor Gordan’s third order continues to limit public gatherings to less than ten people in a single room or confined space at a given time. However, the following types of “gatherings” are excluded from this order: (1) hotels for lodging purposes: (2) livestock auctions; (3) groups of workers being transported for work; (4) government facilities; (5) grocery stores, convenience stores, food pantries, etc.; (6) transportation facilities such as gas stations, truck stops, or auto repair shops; (7) retail or business establishments which typically hold ten (10) or more people not typically within 6 feet of each other; and (8) healthcare facilities or entities. Like with the first two orders, countrywide variance orders may be approved and granted at the state health officer’s and county health officer’s discretion.

April 29, 2020:

On April 28, 2020, two days before the shelter-in-place is set to expire, Governor Gordon announced new public health orders effective Friday, May 1 will permit gyms, barber shops, hair salons, and other personal care services to resume operations. The specific requirements will be addressed in the public health orders which are still pending.

April 28, 2020:

The Stay At Home Order in Wyoming is currently set to expire this Thursday (April 30). That Order closed all non-essential businesses and required all residents to stay at home except for non-essential activities. Governor Gordon has not made any announcements as to whether the Order will be extended. However, Governor Gordon previously indicated the order is consistent with President Trump’s “Phase One Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.” Those guidelines call for vulnerable populations to continue to shelter in place, all individuals to maintain social distancing and avoid gatherings with more than 10 people, and minimize non-essential travel. The guidelines also encourage businesses/employers to continue remote working, implement returning to work measures in phases, closing common areas where employees are likely to gather, minimize non-essential travel, and arrange special accommodations for vulnerable employees returning to work. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether Wyoming will enter Phase Two once the order expires this Thursday or if the state will completely reopen altogether. More up to date information on all orders in place in Wyoming can be accessed here.

April 10, 2020:

On April 9, 2020, Governor Mark Gordon requested emergency disaster assistance from the federal government. With this request, the state receives assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction of temporary hospitals. the assistance also allows the state to provide additional disaster relief assistance to small businesses.

April 5, 2020:

On Friday, April 3, 2020, Governor Mark Gordon extended all state-wide public health orders through April 30, 2020. The orders specifically addressed the closing of public places and schools, public gatherings of 10 or more persons in a confined space, and the closure of bars, restaurants, and non-essential personal services businesses.

March 30, 2020:

Governor Mark Gordon announced on Friday, March 27, 2020, the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) and Wyoming Workforce Development Council (WWDC) are offering Wyoming businesses up to $5,000 in grant funds in an effort to curtail the number of layoffs. To receive the grant, the business must be in good standing with the Unemployment Insurance and Worker’s Compensation program. The funds may also be used to offset certain COVID-19-related expenses, including: costs associated with deep cleaning and sanitization; technology to implement remote working; equipment which promotes social distancing; and costs related to modifying operations in order to continue to operate.

On March 27, 2020, the Wyoming Department of Health, through its health officer Alexia Harrist issued an order extending the temporary closure of nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, massage parlors, tattoo, body art, and piercing studios, and cosmetology, electrology, and esthetic services effectively immediately through April 17, 2020. The order allows such businesses to remain open for owners, employees, contractors, vendors, or suppliers but the establishments must follow the recommendations provided by the Department of Health and CDC.  Businesses may petition their county or local health officer in writing for an exception to the ban by demonstrating that effective cleaning and safety measures are in place.

The Department of Health also issued an order extending the prohibition of gatherings of ten or more people to April 17, 2020. “Gatherings” are defined as “any planned or spontaneous event, public or private, bringing together, or likely bringing together, ten (10) people or more in a single room or a single confined space (whether indoor or outdoor) at the same time.” The definition does not include hotels, employees transported to employment, treatment centers, residential buildings, grocery stores, and gas stations, among others. Individuals wishing to organize a gathering in excess of nine people may request an exception from the county health officer if he or she demonstrates in writing the attendees will maintain a social distance of 6 feet from each other and appropriate cleaning will occur after the gathering.

Finally, the Department of Health also enacted an order governing the closure of “public spaces.” This order extended a prior closure of bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, and daycare centers, subject to certain exceptions, until April 17.

March 26, 2020:

On March 25, 2020, Governor Mark Gordon announced during a press conference he is considering “relaxing the current shut-in policies that have forced many businesses to lay off workers or shut down entirely.”

March 25, 2020:

The Wyoming Department of Health issued its third statewide closure order, closing non-essential personal services. The order is effective March 25th through April 3rd. It is focused on business where social distancing measures are not practical and includes nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, cosmetology, electrology, and aesthetic services, massage parlors, and tattoo/piercing shops. Medically necessary services such as physical therapy providers may remain open. The order builds on two previous orders issued on March 20th, which respectively closed public spaces (including schools, theaters, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, employee cafeterias, self-serve buffets, salad bard, gyms, conference rooms, and museums) and prohibited gatherings of 10 or more people in a single room or confined space.

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