CHEYENNE (AP) — Restrictions on public gathering and businesses to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus will be in effect longer than planned, Wyoming's governor suggested Wednesday.
Through April 3, Gov. Mark Gordon has prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people at a time and shut down a range of businesses, from museums to tattoo shops.
“This isn't a situation that will run its course by the first week of April. We all know that,” Gordon said at a news conference Wednesday.
Protecting the health of medical professionals and other front-line emergency workers will be especially important to help keep Wyoming's medical system from becoming overwhelmed by the COVID-19 virus, Gordon said.
Wyoming residents should work from home if at all possible, Gordon said, and avoid making 911 calls and trips to hospital emergency rooms if they are not truly necessary.
Wyoming has become one of a minority of states without a statewide or local stay-at-home order. Gordon said he hoped to avoid one.
"We are not trying to shut down Wyoming. But your voluntary actions and discipline will make a difference whether we can slow the spread of COVID-19," Gordon said. “The orders that we put in place can only be effective if you take them seriously.”
As of Wednesday, testing confirmed at least 44 cases of the coronavirus in Wyoming in 10 of the state's 23 counties. So far, Wyoming has recorded no coronavirus deaths.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
In other Wyoming coronavirus news:
— Gordon enacted a 90-day grace period for driver's licenses expiring between March 15 and June 1, and suspended non-commercial driving tests for 90 days. Commercial driving tests will continue, but with possible on-site health screenings.
— Gordon directed the Wyoming Business Council to give distilleries and breweries funding to convert their operations to produce hand sanitizer.
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