Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

HSC granted variance on health order closures


April 30, 2020

Hot Springs County, through the efforts of Dr. Vernon Miller, County Health Officer, Tricia McPhie, Director of Public Health, and Bill Gordon, Hot Springs County Emergency Management Coordinator, has received a variance from the Wyoming Department of Health to re-open restaurants and bars, under certain conditions.

As of Tuesday evening, the Wyoming Department of Health will allow restaurants, bars and other places offering food, beverages or alcohol for consumption on their premises to operate under the following conditions:

All patrons of the business must be seated at tables and those tables must be limited to groups of six, preferably of the same household. Those tables must be positioned so that guests at different tables are at least six feet apart from each other when seated.

Signs reminding patrons of the six-foot social distancing will be visible and waiting areas must have floor markers to indicate that six-foot distance. Owners and managers are required to ensure those guidelines are maintained.

Staff will have to wear face coverings at all times and perform hand hygiene between interactions with each table and items such as cups, lids, napkins and straws must be handed directly to customers and tables will not be set prior to arrival.

Staff will also have to sanitize the area once customers leave, including tables, menus, salt and pepper shakers and chairs. Hand sanitizer must be available at the restrooms.

Businesses must clean and disinfect in the morning, afternoon and evening, including all tables, chairs, door handles, floors, bathrooms and any high touch surfaces.

There will be no self-serve or buffet options unless the food is pre-packaged. Drink refills are not allowed in the same containers.

To-go boxes, pizza boxes, paper cups and any other paper product that touches food must be treated as food. Staff must use gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods, including ice, limes, etc. Things like bottles of ketchup, self-serve condiments, should be eliminated unless they can be adequately cleaned in between customers.

There must be screening of staff for symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure to anyone with the virus prior to each shift. Employees with symptoms or exposure will not be allowed to work and logs must be kept and available for inspection by the local health officer.

Owners will have to keep record of staff work hours and dates in the event COVID-19 tracing is necessary.

In addition, no dart or pool leagues, dances, events, or karaoke are to take place and playgrounds at the businesses must remain closed.

If you decide you are comfortable going out to eat, please make sure to call the restaurant ahead of time to ensure they are open. It may take several days for most establishments to get all of the proper requirements in place.


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