Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist have issued a third statewide order, closing non-essential personal services.
The order goes into effect today and extends through April 3. The order is focused on businesses where appropriate social distancing measures are not practical. The closure applies to nail salons, hair salons and barber shops; cosmetology, electrology and esthetic services; massage parlors; and tattoo, body art and piercing shops. Medically necessary services such as physical therapy providers may remain open.
“While I understand the impact and sympathize with those most affected by these measures, especially small business owners, I support Dr. Harrist’s recommendation because this is about saving lives,” Governor Gordon said. “We have tried to navigate a thoughtful course, but as COVID-19 spreads through our communities, we must take this action now.”
Dr. Harrist said, “People who are ill with COVID-19 can easily spread this disease to others to anyone nearby if they cough or sneeze. Staying away from others as much as possible helps protect all of us, including those who are most vulnerable to illness complications.”
This order supplements previous statewide orders issued March 19 and 20 closing certain public spaces and prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more in a single room or confined space.
Residents with additional questions about any of the statewide public health orders should inquire with their county health officer.
In Nebraska, Governor Pete Ricketts stated in his Tuesday media briefing that those same businesses can continue their operations; with the caveat of keeping the number of patrons in the business to 10 people or less.
However on Tuesday evening, Douglas County Public Health Director Dr. Adi Pour released this statement clarifying the rules for those types of businesses in the Omaha-metro area:
The Douglas County Health Department wants to clarify the recent updated Directed Health Measures for Douglas County and how that order relates to beauty salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, and other businesses in the beauty service industry.
The order, issued on Friday, March 20, specifically prohibits gatherings of more than ten people through April 30. There are exceptions that exclude a facility’s staff from the county and buildings that are sub-divided by walls.
However, another section of the order is particularly relevant to the beauty service industry.
Section 2 of the order reads: “It is further ordered that even for gatherings below this size, if a minimum social distance of six feet between attendees cannot be maintained in the venue or a subdivision thereof, the gathering is prohibited.”
Given the nature of this industry, it is not possible for most needed services to be performed, and because of that these operations should cease.