Effective Monday, November 2nd a mask mandate for Laramie County will be in effect and remain in effect through Monday, November 30th.
The mandate was recommended by the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department board and issued by Laramie County Health Officer, Dr. Stan Hartman. The mandate has been reviewed and approved by Wyoming State Health Officer, Dr. Alexia Harrist, for the protection of public health in Laramie County. A copy of the mandate can be found at the link above.
This mandate is a response to skyrocketing cases of COVID-19 in Laramie County, with increases in hospital admissions, including intensive care unit admissions. Masks, when worn in certain public settings when social distance cannot be maintained, are safe and effective in reducing transmission of the virus.
As of this release, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC) has admitted 29 individuals for COVID-19 with seven individuals in intensive care and five of the individuals on life support. One individual on life support has passed within the last 24 hours.
The mandate applies only to establishments open to the general public, such as retail, commercial, healthcare and many government establishments. It requires them to ask customers to wear masks, and to require their employees to wear masks when serving the public. Some exceptions will apply, as detailed in the order itself, which is posted on the Cheyenne/Laramie County Web Site.
Many retail establishments are already requiring these measures, but the order aims to make these practices uniform across the county, and further slow the spread of COVID-19.
The order does not cover faith-based organizations, but those are urged to follow recommendations of the Wyoming Department of Health to keep their congregations safe and avoid transmission of the disease during worship. It also does not apply to events within homes, on private property, or outdoors. Although the order does not apply to private gatherings, the health department urges caution in those settings also, since community transmission is occurring there.
The order also does not change mask requirements in the local school districts, which have been in place since the beginning of the school year and are designed to help keep schools open.
“The goal is to keep businesses open, keep the economy as healthy as possible, and keep people out of the hospital,” stated Dr. Hartman.