Message from Steve Peasley, MD,Platte County Health Officer and Nicole Sticka, RN, BSN Platte County Public Health Nurse Manager
RE: Re-opening phases in Platte County
April 24, 2020
On April 23, Governor Mark Gordon stated in a press conference that the state of Wyoming was in the process of deciding how to begin relaxing COVID-19 based restrictions. The process of easing state mandates is going to be a deliberate one. It will be based on a county-by-county assessment that will monitor the number of new cases, degree of local spread, number of hospital admissions/transfers and local hospital emergency capacity. As of today, Platte County remains free of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Platte County emergency planning and Platte County Health Department are meeting regularly in anticipation of phase 1 opening. The Governor’s current state order expires on May 1st but it is assumed that a new order will follow and give guidance to businesses, schools and other entities. At this time, at the county level, we have not been given a clear idea on what that will look like. It is hoped that we can begin to allow some entities to start to gradually relax restrictions. We will help with resources for guiding businesses on preparing for these processes to protect their staff, clients and customers.
It has been Platte County’s desire to adhere to state recommendations and guidelines during the pandemic and we hope to continue to follow this method as we reopen. We hope to have more direction and leadership offered early next week after an update from the Governor. The process of relaxing restrictions will be directed by the state and adjusted, as needed, by each county based on the previously mentioned criteria. That process will look different for schools, public meetings (churches, daycare, etc), and other types of businesses. A “one-size-fits-all” lifting of these mandates for all public entities, daycares, churches, school and businesses will not happen. The exemptions and lifting of restrictions will be applied uniformly to each specific group. For example, if certain restrictions are relaxed for hair salons, we envision those same exemptions being granted to all hair salons in the county. The same process will be applied for restaurants, bars, schools, etc.
The relaxation of these restrictions is anticipated to occur in 4 phases that may take weeks to months to return to a setting where there are no restrictions in place. Once easing of the state mandates is implemented, there will remain a process in place, yet to be defined where restrictions might need to be reimplemented if cases start to surge or our local healthcare system nears capacity. The effectiveness of these phases relies completely on the public’s trust in the plan.
We appreciate the county’s patience during a very difficult process.
Steve Peasley, MD
Platte County Health Officer
Nicole Sticka, RN, BSN
Platte County Public Health Nurse Manager