Local authorities in Converse County have recently received several reports of businesses not understanding or not complying with current statewide public health orders designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Servers have reportedly not been wearing face coverings and not using single-use condiments at a number of restaurants, according to Converse County COVID Incident Command.

The group took to social media Friday to remind local restaurants and other businesses that current public health orders require those and other measures, and those orders are set to remain in effect through the end of July.

All elements of the current public health orders must be followed, but the group highlighted a few points in its message Friday:

  • Staff that come within six feet of customers or other staff shall wear face coverings; staff shall perform hand hygiene between interactions with each table. On this point, the incident command team commented: "It is virtually impossible for servers to not come within six feet of customers, so all servers must wear masks."
  • No self-serve food service or buffet options shall be available unless food is pre-packaged; drink refills are not allowed in the same containers.
  • Staff shall use gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods (including ice); gloves are not required when handling foods that have yet to be cooked.
  • Self-service condiments shall not be used, unless the condiments can be cleaned adequately between customers.

Any establishments or employees with questions about the existing public health orders are encouraged to call Converse County Public Health at 307-358-2536, or their local county health office.

Converse County saw its 19th positive case of COVID-19 confirmed Wednesday. The patient is a Douglas man in his 30s; he is recovering at home and health officials say he contracted the virus via community transmission, which means health professionals could not pinpoint the location or instance in which the man became ill.

The incident command team reminded business owners and food service workers that "any person or legal entity that violates the order shall be subject to criminal prosecution."

Under Wyoming law, violators could be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. They could also be held liable for all expenses incurred by health authorities "in removing the nuisance, source of filth or cause of sickness."

For more information from the Wyoming Department of Health on existing health guidance or public health orders, click here.

Here's a link to the existing public health order for restaurants, bars, theaters, gymnasiums, child care facilities, K-12 schools, colleges, universities and trade schools.

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