Governor Mark Gordon took to the podium Wednesday and urged all Wyomingites to stay home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I am here today to urge Wyoming citizens to stay home whenever possible, only going out when absolutely necessary,” Gordon said during a news conference. “It is imperative to flatten the curve by staying home.”

It's not an order, although similar measures have been enacted in other states. Gordon emphasized the importance of public cooperation in order to stem the virus spread.

By pitching in voluntarily, stricter controls on movement might be avoided, the governor said.

“Your voluntary actions and discipline are going to make the difference as to whether we can slow the spread of COVID-19. You can make a difference in Wyoming for you, your family and your neighbors,” Gordon said. “We must keep our hospital facilities functional, not just for COVID-19 but to help people with regular health emergencies like a stroke or a broken leg.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, 44 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Wyoming, an increase of 14 since Tuesday. Four of those cases are in Natrona County.

Also Wednesday, Teton County health officials said they believe community transmission of the virus is occurring locally.

Wyoming schools are closed until April 3. Tuesday, Gordon also ordered personal care businesses such as salons and barber shops closed for the same period.

Restaurants, bars, fitness centers and other establishments are largely shut down in accordance with a previous order from Gordon.

“We need to take the Governor’s words seriously,” Director of the Wyoming Department of Health Mike Ceballos said Wednesday. “The orders Wyoming has in place are intended to keep people separated so the virus has limited opportunity to spread. It is most important to stay at home as much as possible. If we work together, we will be able to reduce illness and the burden on our health care system.”

Wyoming counties will see additional virus test kits distributed by state officials this week, increasing testing capabilities amid a nationwide shortage of such materials.

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