Community Events & Mass Gatherings
As of March 20, 2020, Governor Gordon has supported an additional statewide order issued by the State Health Officer prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more in a single room or confined space. The order also offers several exemptions.
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
On March 12, 2020 held a press conference to address COVID-19 concerns in Wyoming. In his address, Governor Gordon stated, “as an overabundance of caution, and as a proactive measure to protect the residents of Wyoming, I am recommending that we consider carefully, whether large community gatherings and events that are over 250 people should take place. We want to be proactive in our approach and I encourage anyone planning large events to contact with their County Health Officers, and to work with their elected officals.” The Governor’s address was followed by an Executive Order (2020-2) on Friday, March 13, 2020, declaring a state of emergency and a public health emergency.
These events, followed by the notice that a second and third case of COVID-19 have been identified in Wyoming, has left many wondering if scheduled events should be canceled. At this time, Campbell County Public Health Officer, Dr. Kirtikumar Patel, has not issued a recommendation for the cancellation of events in Campbell County.
Considerations for postponing or cancelling events & mass gatherings
- The overall number of attendees. Larger gatherings (for example, more than 250 people) offer more opportunities for person-to-person contact and therefore pose greater risk of COVID-19 transmission.
- The number of people attending who are at greater risk of more serious illness after contracting COVID-19. Older adults and persons with severe pre-existing health conditions are thought to be at increased risk.
- The density of attendees within a confined area. Based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within 6 feet).
- The potential economic impact to participants, attendees, staff, and the larger community.
- The level of transmission in your local community and the level of transmission in the areas from which your attendees will travel. To better understand the level of community transmission in your community (and in the communities from which your attendees will be traveling), consult with your local and/or state public health department.
- If there are ways in which to significantly reduce the number of attendees. For example, for sporting events or school concerts, organizers could consider holding the event but significantly reduce the number of audience members.
- At a substantial level of community transmission, it is recommended to cancel mass gatherings of any size.