Wyoming reopens following CDC guidelines


   Various states across the U.S. have begun to open up their economies and businesses, Wyoming included. Yet as expected, there are certain procedures and measures that have to be taken before selectively and tentatively opening up to the public.

   There are multiple phases to reopening. Those most vulnerable to the virus are still encouraged to stay home, but states that are starting to open up and get back into the swing of things are all carefully starting with Phase 1. Wyoming started Phase 1 in early May. In this phase in Wyoming, public places such as workout centers and restaurants have a policy of nine people to a room, or one person per 120 square feet. Fitness centers such as the YMCA have decided to establish a nine people per room policy, as the square footage would allow for nearly 500 people to be in the building. Restaurants must have people sit outside, but are soon opening for business. Social distancing protocols are still supposed to be enforced, and elected surgeries can resume in hospitals. Non-essential travel is still said to be avoided.

   On May 13, Governor Mark Gordon gave the order to ease the restrictions on the state of Wyoming in categories of business, starting Phase 2. This allows for restaurants to resume indoor table service around the state on Friday, May 15. For businesses such as restaurants, staff are required to wear face coverings and be screened for symptoms when they come to work. Tables in restaurants must be adequately spaced six feet apart. Movie theatres and performance venues may open with a maximum occupancy of 25 people. Gyms are allowed to open up their locker rooms, offer personal training, and have group classes for up to 20 people at a time. The maximum occupancy for most public places where the number can be regulated fairly easily is 25, including child care centers. As per the CDC, in this step, non-essential travel can resume. Gatherings of more than 50 people are not practical, but such gatherings may occur with proper precautions and safety measures. In this phase, places of close contact should remain closed, or moderate social distancing protocols should be enforced. Businesses are also recommended to strongly consider accommodations for those more vulnerable to the virus. Schools and organized youth activities such as day care and camps can reopen. Admission and visiting senior centers and hospitals is still prohibited. Larger venues like movie theatres and sit-in restaurants may open but follow moderate social distancing and precautions. Bars may open in this phase, but only with strict protocols and diminished standing-room occupancy. This stage, and phase three, may be started with no signs of a rebound and as long as the criteria is consistently met.

   This is a three phase plan, and in this final stage, those most vulnerable are able to interact with the population again but should still be cautious and follow physical distancing and other safety precautions. Unrestricted staffing of worksites may resume and everyone can go back to work. In this step, almost everything is allowed to return to normal. Some time after it, perhaps it may be as if this pandemic never happened at all.