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Laramie County Face Mask Mandate Extended Through Jan. 4

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Laramie County Health Officer Dr. Stan Hartman last week extended a local face mask mandate through Jan. 4.

An extension, dated Nov. 25 was posted on the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department website. You can read the mask mandate extension here.

The extension basically consists of the original mandate plus an additional statement that the mandate will continue through Jan. 4.

While the mandate remains in effect, enforcement of it remains murky as both the Cheyenne Police Department and Laramie County Sheriff’s Office have said they don’t plan on issuing citations to people who violate the mandate. The agencies have said that anyone in a business who is asked to wear a mask but refuses to either do so or leave could be cited for trespassing.

Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove has also said she won’t prosecute anyone for violating the mandate. Manlove cited both a lack of resources and constitutional questions on announcing her decision some weeks ago.

The mandate theoretically carries a potential penalty of up to a year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1000 for violations, but Dr. Hartmann told Townsquare Media of Cheyenne in late October that enforcement would mostly be “on the honor system.”

The mandate basically requires people to wear facemasks in most businesses and public venues. There are exceptions for people who are exercising in a gym, young children, and people who have a medical reason not to wear the mask.

While over half of Wyoming counties have a mask mandate in effect, enforcement around the state is generally spotty.

Some law enforcement agencies have said that they won’t cite violators and several county prosecuting attorneys have likewise indicated an unwillingness to pursue such cases in court.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has so far resisted a statewide face mask mandate to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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