Gov. Mark Gordon announced that effective March 16, Wyoming will remove its statewide mask requirement and allow bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms to resume normal operations.
The face covering protocol will remain in place in K-12 schools as a safety measure to ensure that classroom learning and all student activities can continue to occur safely.
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 has seen a declining number of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and has seen significant success rolling out the vaccine, with the state’s most vulnerable residents having access to the vaccine.
“I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic,” Gordon said. “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.”
Gordon emphasized the success the state has had in managing the virus while keeping businesses and schools open. He continues to encourage Wyomingites to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and to follow the best practices adopted by any business they visit to slow the spread of the virus. The significant changes to the health orders will be released later this week, but Gordon said he wanted to make sure the public knew of this important change today.
Regarding face covering protocols remaining in place in K-12 schools, Gordon said 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,” he 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.”
Wyoming’s vaccination efforts are among the most efficient in the country. Nearly 100,000 first doses have been administered and 19% of the state’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Almost all counties in the state are now entering the 1c phase, which includes restaurant, bar, gym, and theater workers.