SWEETWATER COUNTY — The requested mask mandate variance for Sweetwater County was approved on Tuesday afternoon by State Public Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist.
Sweetwater County was one of nine counties to have mask mandate variances approved, along with nine other counties: Natrona, Sheridan, Park, Lincoln, Carbon, Goshen, Sublette and Hot Springs. Three other counties are awaiting approval of their mask mandate variances. Those three counties are expected to be approved within the next day or two.
In a phone call Tuesday night, Sweetwater County Public Health Officer Dr. Jean Stachon said that a meeting with the board of health, city governments, Sweetwater County Commissioners and law enforcement will take place at 7:15 am to go over the approved variance to discuss details moving forward.
Stachon added that there will be another meeting later in the day with law enforcement and the Sweetwater County Attorney to discuss ideas for enforcement of the mask mandate.
“I think most health officers are hoping to make a statement and make people take note that our state is really in troubling waters right now,” Stachon said.
As of Tuesday evening, Stachon said there are currently seven hospitalized patients at Sweetwater Memorial Hospital.
Stachon added that even if everyone in the county wore masks, it would take two to three weeks before any change would take place.
The numbers are not going to go down from here on out. I don’t see how they can. We have so many people coming in positive.
– Dr. Jean Stachon, Sweetwater County Public Health Officer
On Tuesday, Stachon said there was a meeting with schools to see how they can remain open moving forward. Locally the goal is to keep schools and businesses open and avoid a complete shutdown.
To read the mask mandate in its entirety scroll through the document below.
Sublette County Mask Mandate
Neighboring Sublette County released information to SweetwaterNOW on Tuesday evening confirming their mask mandate variance was approved and will go into effect on Wednesday, November 18.
The variance requires persons within Sublette County, except for minors, to wear a face covering in certain public settings as described:
• When any person is inside, or in line to enter, any retail or commercial business, or any government facility open to the general public, including county and municipal buildings but excluding state and federal buildings; or
• When any person is obtaining services at, or visiting healthcare operations, including, but not limited to, hospitals, clinics, and walk-in health facilities, dentists, pharmacies, blood banks, other healthcare facilities, behavioral health providers, and facilities providing veterinary and similar healthcare services for animals; or
• When any person is waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit, or while they are riding in a taxi, private car service, shuttle, tour, or ride-sharing vehicle. The driver shall also wear a face covering when passengers are in the vehicle.
• All retail and commercial businesses and government facilities open to the general public, including county and municipal buildings but excluding state and federal buildings, must post notices stating that face coverings are required in a clearly visible location at or near the entrance of the business or building.
• All employees, owners, and volunteers of retail and commercial businesses and employees and volunteers of government facilities open to the general public, including county and municipal buildings but excluding state and federal buildings, shall wear face coverings at their business or government facility when interacting with the public, or working in a space visited by members of the public, such as by way of example, but not limited to: reception areas, grocery store aisles, service counters, public restrooms, cashier and checkout areas, waiting rooms, service areas, and other spaces used to interact with the public.
The release also indicated that there are circumstances in which a mask is not required such as a medical condition or exercising in a gym.
To read Sublette County’s variance in full, click here.