Gov. Mark Gordon’s face was red and it appeared he was close to spilling tears of frustration during his press conference Friday morning, where he stated Wyoming is under the most strain its ever been since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Gordon extended the standing health orders for one more week while he considers a mask mandate and other measures to put into place next week, to protect Wyoming residents and pull the population through winter months until a vaccine against COVID-19 becomes widely available.
He said, “Everything is on the table,” when asked by a reporter if he will mandate mask-wearing in the state next week.
He wore his emotions on his face as he talked of full hospitals putting tents up in their parking lots to deal with the amount of patients coming in, of Wyoming being either third or fifth in the United States in terms of number of COVID-19 infections, and high death rates within our state, with our senior citizens primarily being the ones who are dying.
“We’re under the most strain since corona began and it spells trouble for our state,” Gordon said. “Our hospitals are overwhelmed.”
He asked residents to consider the question, “Ask yourself, do you feel better about what’s going on in this state today? It’s time Wyoming woke up and got serious about what it’s doing. I have relied on people to be responsible and they are being irresponsible. Look around. Everyone knows someone who has been sick with it. Some have permanent disabilities because of it. We need to step up.
“My problem is, if I can’t rely on you, I’m going to have to do something else . . . make some changes,” he said. “This is not a game, this is a serious, serious challenge for our nation and for Wyoming.”
Wyoming Department of Health Director Mike Ceballos said the organization is seeing a large number of asymptomatic people who are carriers of COVID, but not experiencing any symptoms.
“There is such a large number of asymptomatic people that we can’t even track it, we don’t know where it is coming from as it is literally everywhere. It’s become so pervasive, there’s not a place we’re (not seeing) it. It’s happening everywhere in the state,” Ceballos said.
Gordon said Wyoming is "in an emergency" and will soon be seeing 3,000 new cases of COVID a day.
“I still believe in our state. I think we have lost our way a bit, but I believe we can come back,” he stated.