On March 30th, 2020, Travis Riddell, MD, Teton Health District Officer, issued Countywide Public Health Order #20-4 requiring all people within Teton County, Wyoming, including the City of Jackson, Wyoming to limit gatherings to only individuals within the same family. Alexia Harrist, MD, PhD, the Wyoming State Health Officer, authorized and directed the Teton Health District Officer to issue the Countywide Public Health Order #20-4.
Dr. Riddell stated, “I am pleased that we have been able to enact another incremental step to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. However, the individual decisions each of us make every day collectively remain our single most powerful tool in controlling the virus.” The Wyoming Statutes explicitly grant the power to issue public health orders to medical professionals, rather than elected officials. The Wyoming State Health Officer, a medical doctor, authorizes and directs the Teton District Health Officer, also a medical doctor, to issue public health orders.
Teton County and the Town of Jackson have formed the Teton Health District which encompasses Teton County, Wyoming, and includes the City of Jackson. The Teton Health District has a Board of Health, that appoints the District Health Officer. The Countywide Public Health Order #20-4 is now in effect and will remain valid through April 17, 2020. Public Health Order #20-4 orders that: • All Residents of Teton County, Wyoming, including the City of Jackson, Wyoming shall limit gatherings to only individuals who are living in the same household.
There are 6 circumstances in which a person may leave their home:
1. Performing tasks essential to their health and safety, or for the health and safety of their household members or pets, including, be example and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication or visiting a health care professional.
2. Care for a family member or pet in another household.
3. Obtain necessary supplies for self or household members (including, by example and without limitation, groceries, food, liquor, sporting goods, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of a residence).
4. Deliver necessary supplies (including, by example and without limitation, groceries, food, liquor, sporting goods, and products necessary to maintain for safety, sanitation, and essential operation of a residence.
5. Engage in outdoor activity, so long as six (6) feet is maintained between any person not in the same household.
6. Travel to and work at a place of employment, if the work cannot be done remotely from home.
Countywide Order #20-4 also defines physical distancing requirements as: Maintain at least six (6) feet distance from other individuals, wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible, or use hand sanitizer, cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), and regularly clean high touch surfaces. Do not shake hands. Penalty/Violation Any person or legal entity that violates any public health order shall be subject to criminal prosecution under Wyoming Statutes §35-1-105 and/or 35-1-106. Failure or refusal to obey a public health order issued by the State Health Officer and/or the Teton District Health Officer may result in a criminal prosecution of a high misdemeanor ($1000.00 fine or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year or both).
Previous Countywide Public Health Orders The previous Countywide Public Health Orders issued by the Teton Health District Officer have either expired or been revoked by the issuance of subsequent orders.
Countywide Public Health Order #20-1A (gatherings over 250 persons) and #20-1B (gatherings over 50 people) have been revoked through a subsequent Statewide Order (Statewide Order #2 Forbidding Gatherings over 10 Persons).
Countywide Public Health Order #20-2 (Closure Order) expired on March 31, 2020. Statewide Order #1 on Closures is still in effect.
Countywide Public Health Order #20-3 (Stay at Home Order for those over 65 and High Risk Medical Conditions) has been revoked through the issuance of Countywide Public Health Order #20-4 (Stay at Home Order for All).
The only valid Countywide Public Health Order presently in effect is Countywide Public Health Order #20-4 (Countywide Stay at Home for All Order) and the 3 Statewide Orders are in full effect.
Statewide Orders The Wyoming State Health Officer has issued 3 statewide orders that are in effect throughout Wyoming, including Teton County and the City of Jackson, Wyoming and are in effect through April 17, 2020.
Statewide Order #1 (Forbidding Gatherings of 10 People or More).
Statewide Order #2 (Closing Bars, Restaurants, Theaters, Gymnasiums, Child Care Facilities, K-12 Schools, Colleges, Universities, and Trade Schools Statewide).
Statewide Order #3 (Temporary Closure of Nail Salons, Hair Salons, Barber Shops, Massage Parlors, Tattoo, Body Art, and Piercing Shops; and Cosmetology, Electrology, and Esthetic Services).
Recommendations The Teton District Health Officer has issued six (6) recommendations. Recommendations are guidelines and are not enforceable as law.
Recommendations #1, #2, and #5 have all now been superseded by public health orders.
Recommendation #3 has been superseded by Recommendation #6.
The Teton Health District Officer is still recommending the following:
RECOMMENDATION #4 That visitors to Teton County, Wyoming are requested to return home immediately upon the issuance of this Recommendation by the fastest and safest available means, and persons considering visiting Teton County, Wyoming should remain home. Non-resident homeowners are strongly encouraged to leave or to not travel to Teton County, Wyoming.
RECOMMENDATION #6 That residents of Teton County, Wyoming who leave the geographic area of the State of Wyoming, Bonneville County, Idaho, and Teton County, Idaho and any visitors that visit Teton County, Wyoming from outside that geographic area should limit movement and gathering with other individuals who are not their immediate family upon their return to
Teton County, Wyoming. Persons should leave their residences only to perform Essential Activities for a period of self-isolation lasting at least fourteen days or self-isolation until any fever or respiratory illness has resolved and they have returned to normal health for at least three days, whichever is longer.