CASPER — Local mask mandates have been approved in 12 Wyoming counties, with requests from Washakie and Converse counties still being reviewed.
Nine counties had their requests approved Tuesday: Natrona, Sweetwater, Sheridan, Park, Lincoln, Carbon, Goshen, Sublette and Hot Springs counties. Teton, Laramie and Albany counties already have mask orders in place.
If requests from Washakie and Converse counties are approved, 14 Wyoming counties and the Wind River Reservation will have instituted local mask orders.
As is, more than two-thirds of Wyomingites now live in a county that requires face masks.
It is unclear when the orders will go into effect.
Natrona County Health Officer Dr. Mark Dowell said via text the decision to request an order was done after consulting with other health officers in the state.
“We all felt it was time,” he wrote. “We obviously are very concerned about the health of the population of Wyoming.”
Health officers in all of the counties that have passed or requested mask mandates were among the 21 who recently signed a letter calling on the state to enact a face mask mandate for all of Wyoming.
That letter, dated Nov. 12, acknowledged local authority to pass community measures but added, “We feel that a statewide mandate sends a more powerful and effective message in a more timely manner.”