Wyoming's top public health official urged residents to remember that Wyoming is still in a pandemic as the state begins lifting closure orders. 

"We're still in the midst of a pandemic, and unfortunately we will be for a while," Dr. Alexia Harrist said. "This is a new disease."

Harrist added that anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. She added that she hopes Wyoming is on a "path forward."

Prior to Tuesday's news conference, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon lifted some closure orders including those that apply to barbershops and hair salons. Customers will also be allowed to go into restaurants to pick up to-go orders.

But Gordon said if Wyoming doesn't get the reopening process right, the state will be worse off than it was before the pandemic.

Urging residents to continue maintaining social distancing, Harrist said wearing face-coverings will be an integral part of closure orders being lifted.

“Using the coverings can help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and don’t know it from transmitting it to others," Dr. Alexia Harrist said during a news conference Tuesday. "If you wear a face covering, but have the virus and are asymptomatic or not sick yet, that face-covering can prevent you from giving that virus to someone else who could get severely ill."

Harrist said face-coverings are appropriate when people are in places where social distancing isn't always possible such as grocery stores.

Face coverings aren't complicated and can be made from any sort of cloth as long as it covers the mouth and nose. Wearing them will be key in allowing the state to return to any sort of normalcy, Harrist said.

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