Governor Gordon

Restaurants may stay open for delivery or pickup

All public places in Wyoming are to close through April 3 in an effort to slow the community spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a Thursday afternoon decision from Wyoming State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist, endorsed by Gov. Mark Gordon.

According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, the order includes schools, theaters, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, employee cafeterias, self-serve buffets, salad bars, unpackaged self-serve food services, gyms, conference rooms and museums. 

“Wyoming, like all Americans, must commit to reducing the strain on our healthcare system,” Gordon said in a statement. “These are hard measures and they will be difficult for employees and businesses alike, but they are warranted.”

“We realize this action will be very difficult for many of our residents,” Harrist said in a statement. “But it is an important step to help them avoid becoming ill and to help them avoid spreading COVID-19 to those who are most vulnerable. We should all work together to help keep our friends and neighbors safe.”

Restaurants must remain closed for dine-in customers, but may still provide curbside take-out or drive-through service. The order applies to places of public accommodation offering food or beverages for on-site consumption; cigar bars; gymnasiums; movie and performance theaters or other concert and music halls. Online payments or credit card payments by phone are preferred. Staff who handle cash or payment are not permitted to be involved in the preparation, handling, or delivery of food. When picking up food, a restaurant or shop may allow up to five people indoors, provided they are six feet apart from one another."

Under the order, child care centers will also be closed except for those serving essential personnel. 

"As described in the order, essential personnel is considered to include: Healthcare providers; criminal justice personnel; providers of childcare and education services and support staff; public health employees; firefighters; Wyoming National Guard personnel; first responders; state employees deemed essential for COVID-19 response; active duty military staff; pharmacy staff; foster families with children through grade 8; 2-1-1 and 9-1-1 call center staff; critical infrastructure and utility workers including electrical, plumbing, telecommunications, water and wastewater; public works and sanitation crews; grocery and food supply workers; supply chain, postal, delivery and warehouse workers; manufacturers of medical devices, supplies and testing equipment; and fuel distribution workers."

Social distancing measures are the most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19, said Dr. Harrist.

Mara Abbott joined the Bulletin as Report for America corp member in 2019. She covers energy and natural resources. Mara’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Runner’s World.

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