SWEETWATER COUNTY — Two variances have been approved at the state level so that certain business and organizations in Sweetwater County, including restaurants, bars and churches, can reopen while following a list of requirements and recommendations.
The first variance applies to “restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses and other similar places for public accommodation offering food and beverage for on-premises consumption” as well as “bars, taverns, brew pubs, microbreweries, etc.” It also allows gymnasiums, which includes dance studios, to conduct group activities, including classes, that involve nine or fewer people including instructors.
The second variance allows religious organizations and churches to host gatherings of 10 more more people subject to a list of provisions to be enforced by leaders of the church or organization. The variance also applies to funeral services conducted at churches and at funeral homes, according to Sweetwater County Attorney Dan Erramouspe.
The Sweetwater County COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center’s (EOC) Unified Command Team submitted the variances to Wyoming State Health Officer Alexia Harrist for review on Wednesday, May 6, after they were approved by Sweetwater County Public Health Officer Jean Stachon.
Dr. Harrist approved the variances with some revisions.
Both variances include a list of requirements, guidelines and recommendations that these businesses and organizations must comply with in order to safely reopen their doors to customers, patrons and parishioners in a way that minimizes the risk of transmitting or spreading the COVID-19 disease in Sweetwater County.
Provisions include such things as maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet between household groups, sanitation, signage and personal protective equipment. Erramouspe referred to the provisions as a “soft” opening for businesses and organizations.