March 8 (UPI) — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced Monday that the state will remove its mask mandate and allow various businesses to return to normal operations on March 16.
Gordon announced the changes in a statement citing declining cases, hospitalizations and a successful vaccine rollout, following other states that announced plans to lift their mask mandates last week.
“I ask all Wyoming citizens to continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent as we look ahead to the warmer months and to the safe resumption of our traditional spring and summer activities,” he said.
The state will also allow bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms to resume normal operations.
Gordon added that face coverings will still be required in K-12 schools.
“With this approach we can have graduations, proms and a great end to the school year by keeping schools open. Especially since our children will not have the chance to be vaccinated this spring,” he said.
Wyoming has reported a total of 46,507 confirmed COVID-19 cases along with 682 deaths related to the virus, while the 14-day case average has fallen to 54.6, down from a high of 653.1 in November.
The state has also administered 100,698 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last week, Mississipi lifted its mask mandate and allowed businesses to reopen at 100% capacity, while Texas plans to officially do so on Wednesday. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday also said he intended to follow through with plans to lift the state’s mask mandate at the end of the month if it meets certain case and hospitalization thresholds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday also issued guidelines declaring that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks or six-feet of distance and do not need to quarantine or get tested after contact with an infected person unless they experience symptoms.