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Wyoming to lift mask requirement and business restrictions

Wyoming to lift mask requirement and business restrictions
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On March 16, Wyoming will lift its statewide mask requirement and allow bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms to resume normal operations, according to a Monday statement from Gov. Mark Gordon (R).

“I thank the people of Wyoming for their commitment to keeping one another safe throughout this pandemic,” Gordon said in the statement. “It is through their efforts that we have kept our schools and businesses operating and our economy moving forward.”

Wyoming did not issue a mask mandate until December 2020 and, unlike more than 40 other states, never issued a statewide stay-at-home order, although businesses were restricted. 

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In Monday's statement, Gordon urged Wyoming residents to continue wearing face coverings when inside public spaces and to follow guidelines adopted by businesses.

"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 said.

In addition, face covering protocols will remain intact in K-12 schools "to ensure that classroom learning and all student activities can continue to occur safely."

The specific changes to the regulations will be released later this week.

The shift in guidelines comes amid the state’s “continually improving health metrics and is consistent with the governor’s approach of balancing public health with protecting livelihoods,” the statement reads.

“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,” Gordon said in the statement.

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Wyoming is joining a string of states that recently rolled back COVID-19 restrictions, including mask mandates. Texas, Mississippi, Iowa, Montana and North Dakota have all either scaled back their mandates or announced plans to do so.

On March 3, President BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE slammed the move by Texas's and Mississippi's governors to almost completely reopen, calling the decision “Neanderthal thinking.”

“The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything’s fine. Take off your mask. Forget it. It still matters,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office, warning that not enough people in the U.S. have received the coronavirus vaccine to remove restrictions. 

Wyoming has reported more than 46,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 682 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The governor had COVID-19 in November. According to the state’s dashboard, cases have been on a steady decline since mid-January.

According to the state’s dashboard, just more than 100,000 first vaccine doses have been administered, which, according to the governor’s office, is 19 percent of the state’s residents.