The least populous state in the United States won't go under a stay at home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one of Wyoming's two U.S. senators said.
A stay-at-home order isn't necessary, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said on Monday, because residents are already staying away from one another.
“People are staying at home," Barrasso said during an appearance on Fox News's "America's Newsroom," noting Gov. Mark Gordon announced a state of emergency last month and anyone entering the state is required to isolate for 14 days.
"Remember that people are spread out here. We only have about five people per square mile. We have been socially distancing the entire 130 years that we have been a state,” he added.
Gordon has struck the right balance, the senator argued, adding, "The people of Wyoming know what’s best in Wyoming. We’re going to do that—we’re going to continue to follow all the recommendations that are there in Wyoming.”
Teton County officials last week issued a stay at home order.
"It is recommended that all individuals, regardless of age ... stay at home in their place of residence, or current place of abode," the order stated. Exceptions mirror those in other orders, with people allowed to leave to get food, medicine, and for other purposes deemed essential.
Violators face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
“His concern is that a stay-at-home order, like we’ve seen in neighboring states that have pages of exemptions, does little to change people’s behavior,” Pearlman said. “The emphasis from our side is changing behavior right now.”
South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Utah are the other states without stay-at-home orders.
Each state has taken varying steps to respond to the pandemic, with some ordering the elderly or those with underlying health conditions to stay home. Many of the actions are similar to those taken in states with official stay at home orders, which are known by some as shelter in place orders.
"In some states, "you have great distance" with "big land, few people" and "they're in very good shape," Trump told reporters on April 4.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, though, a top public health official on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has said he doesn't know why a national stay-at-home order hasn't been done.