Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said Wednesday that ''it's absolutely imperative that we flatten the curve" in the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor made the comments at a Wednesday afternoon media briefing. By ''the curve," the governor was referring to numbers of new cases of the virus that can overwhelm health care providers and claim lives, such as has been seen in Italy.

The governor said Wyoming can flatten the curve by staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing and practicing good hygiene to help prevent the spread of the disease. Gordon warned that if the effort to reduce the spread of the disease is not successful, the state's health care system could rapidly be overwhelmed. He said that could impact not only COVID-19 victims, but also Wyoming residents needing healthcare for any reason.

He warned of a possible scenario in which ''if someone has a stroke or someone breaks a leg, you will not be able to be taken into a hospital." Gordon said that is why it is so important that state residents do their part now to stop the spread of the virus, including by staying home.

Gordon also said he is doing his best to avoid issuing a "shelter in place" order such as has been issued in some states. But he didn't rule out such an order in the future if the situation worsens.

But Gordon went on to say that he is "confident that we can get through this," both in terms of the health challenges and the economic issues posed by the pandemic.

The governor also said education officials are looking into whether a  recommended closure of schools across the state, which was to continue until April 3 might be extended.




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