Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon during a news conference Wednesday announced that he has requested a federal disaster declaration for the state and Wind River Reservation as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Gordon said the declaration opens the opportunity for the state to receive additional resources including financial aid.
Additionally, the governor said that 260 out-of-state physicians and their assistants have signed up to provide care to sick Wyomingites. Additionally, the state health department is working to speed the reactivation process for lapsed licenses held by retired physicians.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Wyoming has 221 cases of the respiratory disease.
However, that number is likely much higher as testing has been limited throughout the Cowboy State. In Fremont County, one of the hardest-hit areas in Wyoming, 750 people have been directed to self-isolate over the last two weeks.
Gordon said 3,900 COVID-19 tests have been distributed throughout the state. As of Wednesday afternoon, the state health department laboratory has conducted 2,481 tests statewide.
Last week, Gordon ordered all visitors to Wyoming who are not coming for work to self-quarantine for 14 days. In line with that, The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has suspended temporary license sales during the pandemic.
Gordon also urged non-residents to “resist” coming to Wyoming for antler collection.
No stay at home order
Gordon has resisted calls to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, arguing states that have implemented those orders are riddled with exemptions.
Gordon told reporters that current social distancing guidelines that are in place are as effective as orders that neighboring states like Colorado have in place.
“Generally across the state, we’re seeing an increase in social distancing,” Gordon said. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure Wyoming is taking the precautions that we can.”