Updated public health orders are set to go into effect Friday, easing restrictions on several categories of businesses and allow Wyoming restaurants to resume indoor table service statewide.

In announcing the orders Wednesday, Governor Mark Gordon also said he has allocated $17 million in federal funding to expand testing for COVID-19, improve contact tracing and bolster Wyoming's supply of personal protective equipment.

“We have been working diligently to modify our public health orders to continue a safe and sensible reawakening of Wyoming’s economy,” Governor Gordon said. “I am also pleased to be directing funds available through the CARES Act to improve our ability to identify cases of COVID-19 and limit public exposure to the virus.”

Restaurants that wish to resume indoor and outdoor dining service will have to adhere to certain conditions including adequate spacing of tables, requirements that staff be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and wear face coverings, and increasing sanitation measures.

More information about the operating conditions will be available during a Wyoming Business Council webinar Thursday.

The updated orders will also expand the number of people allowed to gather in public, as well as permit larger gatherings for churches, religious organizations and funeral homes so long as social distancing measures and specific sanitization procedures are followed.

Movie theaters and performance venues will also be allowed to reopen in a limited capacity, with up to 25 people allowed to gather.

Gyms will be allowed to open locker rooms, offer personal training and provide group classes for up to 20 people.

Childcare centers will be allowed to have up to 25 individuals in a classroom.

“We must continue to be vigilant about social distancing,” Governor Gordon said. “I am confident that the public and business community will continue to recognize that their actions will allow us to continue a safe, steady path forward. It is important to remember that even as we ease restrictions, COVID-19 is still with us and will continue to be present in Wyoming for some time.”

Gordon's allocation of federal dollars includes $15 million to the Wyoming Department of Health to increase testing and contact tracing capabilities. The other $2 million will go to the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, which will be working with the Wyoming Business Council to purchase personal protective equipment and distribute it to "non-healh care related entities."

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