Developments surrounding COVID-19 are rapidly evolving. Every few days we confront a reality that seems a lot different from days past. Last week, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The WHO made that call in light of more than 118,000 cases of the coronavirus in more than 110 countries and territories. A cascade of cancellations ensued. Universities have shut down or moved to online learning; the NBA season was canceled; Broadway shows and Disney theme parks are on pause.
Locally, town and county officials voted last week to cancel big events: the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb and Rendezvous Festival. Those events normally draw tens of thousands to Jackson Hole.
Then this past weekend, Jackson Town Council voted to ban gatherings of 100 people or more. Now officials are ready to take a more drastic step. They are waiting for the state to approve a countywide measure drafted by county health officer Dr. Travis Riddell that would shut down nonessential services such as restaurants, bars and theaters.
Jackson Town Council also has its own ordinance drafted if the state doesn’t approve that measure or amends it significantly. The council is pushing for this aggressive step to slow the spread of COVID-19 after President Donald Trump yesterday addressed the nation. Trump urged people not to gather in groups of more than 10 and to avoid going out to bars, restaurants and other public places where people gather.
KHOL reporter Alex Thompson is covering how people are reacting to the latest developments. Last week she spoke with dozens of folks. Since then, things have indeed changed. So we will continue these conversations. Listen above for some of the things we’ve learned so far.