Park County Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin is issuing a public health recommendation that all local nonessential businesses including daycares consider closing, and to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more in response to the COVID-19 virus.
He also recommended food establishments limit activities to drive-thru, delivery or curbside pickup, something many have already done.
The gathering aspect of the recommendation will turn into a legally-enforced order soon with a sign off from the state health officer.
Establishments excluded from this order include West Park Hospital, Powell Valley Healthcare, Yellowstone Regional Airport, other government and health-related entities.
The Park County Commissioners held an emergency meeting Wednesday morning to discuss Billin’s recommendations.
“We are in control and know exactly what we’re doing,” said Commissioner Chairman Joe Tilden.
The commissioners will immediately follow Billin’s recommendations for a soft closure at the courthouse.
“The whole county is going to get exposed. All we’re trying to do is stretch it out,” said Park County Nursing Manager Bill Crampton.
Doors to the Park County Courthouse will remain open to the public until further notice, but entrance doors to the county clerk, treasurer, planning and zoning offices, and public works building are locked at this time. Visitors to these locations may knock on the door and a staff member will come to the door to assist with rubber gloves on.
On Tuesday night it was announced that a Cody woman has tested positive for the disease. Billin said during the meeting health representatives are currently interviewing the woman to see where she has been recently to analyze possible contagion risks to the rest of the community.
Billin is recommending a two-week soft closure of the courthouse.
The commissioners will decide on the possibility of a full closure to the courthouse at their closed to the public meeting Thursday morning.
On Wednesday afternoon the Wyoming Supreme Court issued an emergency order suspending in-person proceedings in the State's district and circuit courts. Hearings will be limited to specific circumstances required by constitution and statute and judges are encouraged to use telephone and video conferencing.
Park County's district court clerk's office was already forbidding public access within less than two hours of the announcement. The order will extend to April 10.
Sheriff Scott Steward said he can “almost guarantee” one of his employees will test positive because that man’s wife is a lab employee at Cody Regional Health, and Steward is “confident” he had it.
Changes to regulations and guidelines will occur on an everyday basis.
Individuals Billin recommended to continue include:
• Stay at home when you are sick.
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (do not use bare hands)
• When experiencing respiratory symptoms, call healthcare provider before going to clinic or emergency department. Because there is no treatment for COVID-19, go to the ER only when symptoms worsen to the point you are likely to need admission to the hospital for supportive care such as respiratory difficulty.
• Avoid crowds and sick individuals.
• Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.
• Do not hoard supplies unnecessarily.
• Be aware of family, friends and neighbors that need assistance. Maintain contact with them by phone. Prescriptions can be picked up, food can be delivered, and other assistance rendered with minimal contact.
For more information visit the State's COVID-19 informational resource site at covid19.wyo.gov