July 28 was Wyoming’s worst COVID count yet


Grocery store customers are ‘required’ to cover faces

Signs requiring facemasks are now posted on

the three entrances to Ridley’s Grocery Store in Pinedale – for the

Outfitter Liquor Store, Ace Hardware and the grocery store itself.

“We’re following the recommendations of the National Retailers

Association,” Manager Tim Elkington said of all the regional Ridley’s

stores.

Since the pandemic began, Ridley’s store managers such as

Elkington have calculated how many people fit in with 6 feet of social

distancing, set up plexi panels for cashiers and installed arrows so

customers can shop in the same direction without crisscrossing.

Now store managers hope to add a stronger recommendation to

wearing facemasks while shopping with the signs posted that ask

customers to wear or buy a mask.

“Face coverings required. Please wear one while shopping with us.

Face coverings available for purchase here. Feel free to wear now and

pay when you leave,” the new signs say.

With some frustration, Elkington said Ridley’s “can’t force

anybody to wear them.” In fact, the employees are required to wear

them.

On Tuesday, a number of Ridley’s employees including a cashier

were not wearing masks while Elkington was gone.

“I get after my employees,” he said. “But I took a day off.”

As for customers, Elkington said there are no laws that allow stores

to actually require customers wear facemasks or coverings. “And I’m

not going to have cops out there writing tickets…”

He’s heard “horror stories” of people pulling guns on other

business’s employees because the people do not want to wear a face

covering.

“It’s a choice, to be respectful of others or follow your own

personal beliefs. If they say, ‘no, I don’t want one,’ there are no laws

in place.”

Thousands more people from other states are coming through

Pinedale on their way to Jackson, he noted.

“It’s still a freedom of choice,” Elkington said. “All I can do is

strongly recommend it, encourage it when

they come inside. There’s nothing you can

do.” Facemasks are sold at the No. 1 and 6

registers and back in the general merchandise

area, he said. On Wednesday shortly after

noon, The Roundup’s informal count of 36

customers revealed 21 wore masks and 15

did not.

County COVID statistics

As of Thursday, July 30, Sublette County

now has 23 confirmed cases, eight probable

cases, 20 people in isolation and 14 active

cases – one reporting a recurrence of the

illness, according to the COVID Response

Group.

Earlier most of a work crew tested

positive with one man flown to an out-ofstate

hospital, according to Sublette County

Public Health. On Monday, July 27, three

new cases were confirmed – a minor with no

known source of exposure and two people in

their 50s related to positive cases announced

two weeks ago. Two new probable cases

are linked to a close household contact. All

were isolating and recovering from home,

according to Public Health.

State COVID

Gov. Mark Gordon spoke at a July 28

press conference, saying that day brought 68

lab-confirmed cases statewide, the most for

one day, with the highest growth rate in the

19- to 29-year-old age group.

As of Thursday, July 30, there were 2,172

lab-confirmed cases (with 1,663 recovered),

456 probable cases (with 359 recovered) and

26 deaths. Tuesday also marked the state’s

26th death from COVID, a man from Uinta

County.

“Wyoming was doing pretty well

compared to other states around the country,”

he said.

Due to increases, Gordon extended the

current public health orders again through

Aug. 15 and strongly urged residents to wear

face coverings, maintain social distance

and wash and sanitize hands often to keep

COVID from further wrecking the economy.

The governor touched the mask hanging

around his neck: “If you’re dead set on taking

down Wyoming’s economy, don’t wear one

of these. These are the things that are going

to keep us open and the things that will move

us forward.”

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