COVID hospitalizations in Casper have fallen by 50% — and that's due to wearing face coverings, Natrona County Health Officer Dr. Mark Dowell said.

"I am sure," he said in a video posted to Facebook.

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"It shows that it works, it shows that it can save lives and it needs to continue until we can get a lot of the population vaccinated," he added. "It's incredibly exciting and I want to thank the entire community for stepping up and doing this."

Dowell added that residents can't let their guard down. There's no better evidence that masking is working, he said.

Last week, bars in Wyoming began closing at 10 p.m. under a separate health order.

The Natrona County Health Officer added that vaccinations are ongoing for medical workers who are being exposed to COVID on a regular basis.

Vaccinations should expand to more first-responders throughout the county in the coming weeks.

Dowell said he was called into the Mesa clinic and Casper. They had an opening and asked if he wanted to get a shot.

"I said 'heck yeah,'" Dowell said.

He added that he's sore from the vaccination shot, but hasn't had any major issues.

"I worked out on my Stairmaster lats night," Dowell said. "I feel fine this morning.

"Bottom line: Get the shot. It will protect your familiy. It will protect you. It will protect other people."

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