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Teton officials seek to limit gatherings to less than 10

JACKSON (WNE) — Teton County residents may soon face COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings.

It wouldn’t be a return to the stay-at-home order the county had in the spring, but it is a step toward tighter measures.

The state’s current coronavirus health orders prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people. During his press conference Friday morning, Gov. Mark Gordon indicated that new, possibly more restrictive health orders are likely coming, but state guidance is so far unchanged.

Teton District Health Officer Dr. Travis Riddell said he felt it was time to take more drastic action, submitting a request to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people.

“I’m not willing to wait,” he said at Friday’s community update. “It’s time to make a move.”

The request will need approval from State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist, who has granted other variances, though often following wrangling over their wording. Riddell did not give an expected timeline for a decision from Harrist.

Riddell said he was worried about the community’s ability to manage the growing pandemic.

“These cases have totally overwhelmed the capacity of our state and local health departments,” he said. “They’ve overwhelmed the capacity of our schools to safely teach our children.”

As of Friday afternoon, Teton County had 41 new cases, bringing its active total to 175, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.