Gov. Gordon pushes back against value of 'shelter in place' order; reiterates importance of staying at home - Cheyenne, WY Cap City News
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Gov. Gordon pushes back against value of ‘shelter in place’ order; reiterates importance of staying at home

Wyoming Governor Mak Gordon (Wyoming PBS, Youtube)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon pushed back against the value of issuing a so-called “stay at home” or “shelter in place” order during a press conference on Friday, April 3.

Gordon argued that a “shelter in place” order “with a large number of exemptions” wasn’t much different than existing statewide closure orders already in place in Wyoming.

“Our orders talk less and say more,” he added.

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Gordon noted that he had announced the extension of those three existing statewide orders earlier on Friday. He added that one order had been modified such that restaurants will only be allowed to conduct curbside or delivery services and that customers will no longer be allowed to enter restaurants.

Gordon said the critical thing, no matter the order, is that people stay home, practice good hygeine and practicing social distancing guidelines. He said that the his central message, as well as the message of health officials and organizations across the state, was the same.

“We are all saying one thing,” Gordon said. “Stay home, wash your hands, maintain six feet of distance between yourselves. Only go to the store as an individual, not as a group.

“Do not congregate in groups of more than ten. If you are a store, for heaven’s sake, don’t allow shoppers to mingle in the aisles or in checkout lines.”

Gordon said that the Wyoming Medical Society, Dr. David Wheeler, who he invited to speak at a press conference last week, the Natrona County Medical Society and Dr. Mark Dowell were all trying to emphasize that point.

“Now that is the behavior we need,” Gordon said. “That is why we agree and why it is critical that we behave this way.”

“Don’t mob stores or allow your kids to gather up for playdates,” he added.

He said this it is up to people to take it upon themselves to do what is necessary to slow the spread of the virus.

“Don’t mob stores or allow your kids to gather up for playdates,” he added.

Gordon criticized media coverage which he said were critical of him not issuing a statewide “stay at home” order.

“If you are waiting for me to issue a shelter in place order….what are you waiting for?” Gordon asked. “Are you waiting for ‘mother may I?”

“It makes for a good headline, I suppose,” he said.

Gordon noted Colorado as an example of a state which has a “stay at home” order in effect statewide.

“Colorado’s has multiple pages of exemptions,” the governor said, arguing that the difference between what is in effect in Colorado versus Wyoming is largely symbolic.

On multiple occasions during the press conference, Gordon reiterated that people should take it upon themselves to stay at home, practice good hygiene and follow social distancing guidelines in order to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The press conference began at 3 pm and is carried on the Wyoming PBS Youtube channel:

This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email:

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.