The Wyoming State Health Officer on Tuesday signed an order effective Wednesday requiring the closure of personal care businesses statewide until April 3 to stop the transmission of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

"As the State Health Officer, I deem this Order necessary to protect the public health," Dr. Alexia Harrist wrote.

"I will reassess the necessity of this Order as appropriate to do so and according to accepted epidemiological and medical standards," Harrist wrote.

A violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail, she wrote, citing state law applying to public health and safety.

The order applies to the following establishments:

  • Nail salons, hair salons and barber shops.
  • Cosmetology, electrology and esthetic services.
  • Massage parlors, excluding massage performed for medical purposes.
  • Tattoo, body art and piercing shops.

Last week, Natrona County Health Department ordered the closure of those and other businesses, County Attorney Eric Easton said at a news conference Thursday

The statewide restrictions do not prohibit owners, employees and others involved with these establishments from entering their business as long as they don't offer their services to the public and they follow social distancing and other recommendations by the Wyoming Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harrist wrote.

"People who are ill with COVID-19 can easily spread this disease to others to anyone nearby if they cough or sneeze," Harrist said in a prepared statement. "Staying away from others as much as possible helps protect all of us, including those who are most vulnerable to illness complications."

This order supplements previous statewide and county public health orders dealing with the COVID-19  pandemic, Harrist wrote.

Gov. Mark Gordon approved the order, saying he understands the impact on businesses.

“We have tried to navigate a thoughtful course, but as COVID-19 spreads through our communities, we must take this action now," Gordon said in the prepared statement.

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