A public health order has been established for Park County, closing child-care centers, restaurants, bars, fitness centers, conference rooms, museums and other services.
At 5 p.m. Thursday this order was followed by a similar statewide order established by Gov. Mark Gordon. Commissioner Joe Tilden said the county order which is a little more restrictive, takes precedence over the statewide order.
The county order extends to gatherings of 10 people or more. This includes all recreation, spiritual and community-based activities.
There has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cody and 18 statewide. The woman who has tested positive for the virus is a Cody Regional Health employee.
"The Wyoming Department of Health and Park County Public Health are leading the investigation and providing guidance to Cody Regional Health upon next steps," said Annalea Avery, public information officer for CRH.
Dr. Aaron Billin, health officer for Park County, spoke during a commissioner meeting held Thursday morning, and said emergency room doctors on his staff at Cody Regional Hospital believe the whole West Park Hospital has been exposed to the disease.
"The rest of us are already going to get it," Billin told the commissioners. "Three-fourths of the people in this room probably already have it."
Excluded from the gathering order are medical facilities, pharmacies, airports, grocery stores, other stores selling essential items and government buildings.
The order states that daycares catering exclusively to to children of essential personnel can remain open.
The only Cody daycare that fully follows this designation is The Seedlings Center located at Cody Regional Health. This operation caters to exclusively health care personnel.
The Park County commissioners made the decision to close the county courthouse to the public as of 8 a.m. Friday, at their meeting Thursday. The closure applies to all offices, but district court and circuit court will remain open for all court business. The clerk's office will be performing limited business by appointment as well. Staff will still be working in every county department so call that respective office if emergency assistance is needed.
The courthouse closures will remain through at least the morning of April 7. The statewide order will last through April 3.
Restaurants will be allowed to continue drive-through and curbside services. Hotel restaurants can only deliver food through room service.
All non-essential services must adhere to the 10-person gathering rule which includes employees, as well as six-foot distancing between people.
"These measures are especially important for people over 60 years old and those with chronic health conditions due to higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19," wrote Dr. Aaron Billin, health officer for Park County.
The order released late morning Thursday was signed by Billin and Wyoming State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist. These regulations can remain in effect through April 2 unless ended earlier or modified.
The public should also engage the following activities:
1. Stay at home when you are sick.
2. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds OR use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (do not use bare hand).
4. 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 that you are likely to need admission to the hospital for supportive care (e.g. respiratory difficulty).
5. Avoid crowds and sick individuals.
6. Avoid touching face with unwashed hands.
7. Do not hoard supplies unnecessarily.
8. Entities providing essential food, vehicle fuel, electricity, natural gas, and communications should take steps to put their staff at low risk of infection and ensure uninterrupted delivery of these essential services.
9. 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.
Businesses areas expected to close:
Child care centers, excluding those facilities caring exclusively for children of essential personnel; restaurants (exceptions see above), bars, nightclubs, saloons, taverns, tasting rooms; employee cafeterias; self-serve buffets; salad bars; unpackaged self-serve food services; golf clubs and country clubs; communal pools, hot tubs, locker rooms, saunas, steam rooms, fitness centers, gyms, conference rooms and museums.
Essential services unaffected by order:
Grocery stores and other stores selling essential items, Yellowstone Regional Airport, government facilities, pharmacies, hospitals or medical clinics.
The CRH COVID-19 Screening Call Center is running from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. Call (307)-578-2000 if you think you have symptoms.