The Wyoming State Health Officer signed an order, effective immediately, that prohibits gatherings of 10 or more in a single room or confined space due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news releasee from Gov. Mark Gordon's office on Saturday.

"People of any age can spread this disease to others who are especially vulnerable to more serious or life-threatening illness," Dr. Alexia Harrist said.

"We’ve recommended limits on gatherings; this order is an official step to put those recommendations into action," she said. "Slowing and limiting the spread of disease is our goal.”

The order did not state if there were any penalties for violations.

The order supplements a March 19 order that closed bars, restaurants, theaters, gymnasiums, some child care facilities and schools.

Both orders remain in effect until April 3.

“It is an absolute fact that social distancing slows the growth of coronavirus disease,” Gordon said.

“I very much appreciate the willingness of our state’s residents to comply with this action," he said. "Particularly because it is now becoming clear that young adults 18-50 are also at risk of being hospitalized from COVID-19.”

The new order does not close additional businesses.

The prohibition does not apply to gatherings at private residences, hotels and motels for lodging purposes, government facilities and businesses, grocery stores and retail, or business establishments that can provide adequate social distance spacing of six feet or more.

Healthcare facilities are also exempt, as are long-term care and assisted living facilities that are complying with Wyoming Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directives.

Residents with additional questions about either of the statewide orders should inquire with their County Health Officer. The Casper-Natrona County Health Department can be reached here.

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