Restaurants and watering holes in the Cowboy State will return to their normal business hours after officials announced a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide.

The current restrictions will be lifted on Jan. 9, and restaurants will be allowed to resume onsite consumption from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Most municipalities in Wyoming require bars to close at 2 a.m. under normal conditions.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon praised Wyomingites' response and cited it as a reason cases have declined around the state.

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“Thank you to the people of Wyoming who recognized the strain on their hospitals and health care workers and acted accordingly,” Gordon said in a news release. “I also want to express my gratitude to those businesses that adapted to these temporary measures. These have not been easy times for anyone  We are not out of the woods yet, but continued personal safety measures while the vaccine is being distributed will enable our state’s schools and businesses to continue to remain open.”

State health officials will continue evaluating metrics as the state "emerges from the holiday season."

Additionally, counties can currently opt-out of the requirements if local conditions are safer according to White House Metrics.

 

According to the news release, 113 Wyoming residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Dec. 30, which is down substantially from the state's peak of 247 on Nov. 30.

But the state reported 223 COVID-19 deaths in December, which was the highest mark since the pandemic began.

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