By Associated Press - Friday, February 26, 2021

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has announced plans to lift all coronavirus restrictions on personal care businesses for the first time since the public health orders were introduced early last year.

The Republican governor said Thursday that the changes will go into effect on Monday for hair and nail salons, barber shops, tattoo and massage parlors and other cosmetology businesses, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

Those establishments will no longer have to monitor their customers for symptoms, maintain a record of customers for contact tracing purposes or restrict the number of customers allowed in the facility at one time. However, remaining orders must still be followed, including a statewide mask mandate that went into effect in early December.

Restrictions on businesses have been gradually loosened, but this marks the first time a public health order will be eliminated from the state’s roster of mandates during the pandemic.

Gordon anticipates more restrictions will be lifted if the state’s number of COVID-19 cases remains low.

“The efforts made so far have allowed us to maximize attendance safely at larger events like the state high school wrestling championships this weekend and the state high school basketball tournament that was cancelled last year,” Gordon said. “If we continue on our current trajectory, I expect us to be able to continue to remove orders as we safely return to a new normal.”

The Wyoming Department of Health has said the state has administered more than 82,000 first COVID-19 vaccine doses, and federal programs across the state have given out another 10,000 first doses. More than 16% of the state’s population has received at least one vaccine dose.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some - especially older adults and people with existing health problems - it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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