The now-former Washakie County Health Officer says he was let go over his support for a mask mandate.

On Monday, KWOR reported the Washakie County Commission called a special meeting on Monday and unanimously voted to remove county health officer Dr. Ed Zimmerman.

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Commission Chairman Fred Frandson declined to go into details and simply told KWOR that Zimmerman had been removed.

Zimmerman was among 21 of 23 county health officers in Wyoming who backed a mask mandate.

"As many of you know, the County Commissioners were very unhappy with my decision to issue a Countywide mask mandate. The County Commissioners permission, however, was not needed to issue a mask mandate," Zimmerman wrote on social media. "This system is in place to ensure that medical decisions for the county are not overruled by those in political office."

Zimmerman added that any reasonable physician in the same situation would make the same decision.

Wyoming State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist will fill the role until a new county health officer is approved.

The mask mandates have been controversial in Wyoming as a large portion of the state's county health officers, including Zimmerman, signed off on countywide mask mandates last week.

In Natrona County, area health officials were heckled off the stage earlier this month after trying to explain where the county stands with COVID-19.

They eventually held an online news conference last week in which the mandate was announced.

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