Plans for limited reopening of economy


he Sublette County COVID-19 Response Group an- nounced plans for a limited and gradual reopening of specific businesses in Pinedale over the next two weeks. County officials will only consider businesses affected by the second closure issued by Gov. Mark Gordon on April 3 that expires on April 30, said Dr. Brendan Fitzsimmons, county public health officer.

This order included the following businesses: nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, cosmetology services, massage therapy services and tattoo, body art and piercing shops.

Applications for local businesses to reopen are available on the Sublette County COVID-19 website, sublettewycovid.com.

Fitzsimmons encouraged business owners to be “meticulous” when fill- ing out the application and prepare a “detailed” and “safe” plan to reopen. Fitzsimmons hopes to go through the applications over the weekend and hold interviews with business owners the following week. Other admin- istrators at Sublette County Public Health will provide input during the

interview process.
Business owners are asked to be flexible with suggestions by public

health officials to modify any plan, Fitzsimmons said. The goal is to get the businesses opened safely and “get people back to work” by May 1, when the governor’s order ends, he added.

The Response Group and Public Health will continue to “defer” to addi- tional orders and direction from Gov. Gordon and the Dr. Harrist with the Wyoming Department of Health over the coming days, Fitzsimmons said. He asked for “patience as we cautiously lift restrictions.”

Many businesses in Pinedale continue to remain open, Fitzsimmons added. The closure orders were meant to “eliminate places where disease is spread easily,” with exceptions like grocery stores, he continued.

Sgt. Travis Bingham with the Sheriff’s Office emphasized that “orders are orders” from the state, and deputies can enforce them. Deputies have not made any arrests of business owners, he added.

As the county reopens, precautionary methods at the clinics will remain in place, including screening patients at the doors, said Emily Ray, commu- nications coordinator for the Sublette County Rural Health Care District.

These measures are intended to protect staff and at-risk patients, and are not meant to deter people from staying in contact with their pro- viders, she continued.

Among the businesses that will reopen May 1 is the county-owned Rendezvous Meadows Golf Course. Scott Cheeney, golf course board chairman, appealed to Sublette County Com- missioners during the April 21 meeting to en- able the course to open.

He said 85 percent of the course’s annual revenue comes in during the last two weeks

of April. He added maintenance on the course must be done to save the asset and without being open, the golf course may need addi- tional county funding. Following a break and a conference call with Fitzsimmons, commis- sioners approved opening the course May 1.

However, there will be restrictions, such as only household members can share a golf cart. The driving range will remain closed and bar and restaurant will not open for inside consumption. The hole cups will be pulled so multiple people are not reaching inside.

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