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Concerns over COVID-19 closing local businesses

The following is a news release from the Department of Homeland Security

AFTON, WY​ – A steady rise in confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lincoln County has led to impacts at a handful of businesses in Star Valley. Most of the businesses impacted have been restaurants. When staff contract the virus, businesses close temporarily for cleaning and sanitizing, and may re-open with limited staff. In order to keep businesses continuously open and operating, it is imperative that business owners, staff, and patrons take precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

There have been active cases (confirmed or probable) in almost every Star Valley community, as well as in the Kemmerer area, and this number has increased at a higher rate in the past week. Probable cases are those who have become symptomatic, and are presumed positive, but have not been tested themselves. If probable cases become confirmed, they are removed from “probable” numbers and are then designated “confirmed”. Cases are NOT counted twice.


The ongoing statewide health orders have not been relaxed since June, due to increase in infections throughout Wyoming. The infection rate has increased after holiday events and large gatherings. Businesses are responsible for adhering to health orders, and may incur legal liability if they do not.

It remains important that residents continue physical distancing, frequent hand washing and hygiene, limiting group size, and wearing face coverings in public spaces when distancing is difficult to maintain. This is especially important during large events that often occur during the summer months.


Face coverings, while not a perfect solution, have been shown in studies, as well as experiences from around the country, to help mitigate spread in many settings. The highest concentration of viral particles are found in respiratory droplets, and face coverings can significantly reduce the amount of respiratory droplets that are projected from an infected individual. To an extent, they may also help limit exposure to infected droplets from others.

When wearing a face covering, it should cover the mouth AND nose. Wearers should take care not to touch the portion that covers those areas. When removing it, only touch the straps or portions that have less possibility of contamination. Hands should be washed thoroughly each time the mask is donned or removed. Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use using laundry detergent.

Brigham Young University review of mask studies – ​

CDC Guidance for Wearing Face Coverings/Masks

CDC Guidance for Washing Face Coverings/Masks