Kids will be going back to school in the Natrona County School District on September 1st, 2021. Although Wyoming as a whole has eased up on the face mask mandates, with the emergence of the Delta variant, residents are curious what this will mean in the class room setting.

Governor Mark Gordon has already stated earlier this month (August 4th, 2021), that he will not require school districts to implement mask mandates, but he did encourage vaccination. In a story originally posted by K2Radio, Gov. Gordon stated:

Wyoming was first in the nation in having a safe and successful in-person school year last year. My focus is on supporting local school boards as they take into account conditions in their community and work to assure students learn safely this year too.

With the power now firmly in the hands of the parents, the question is:

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The CDC recently released its updated "Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools", which states:

  • Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.
  • Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
  • Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as screening testing.
  • Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
  • Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
  • Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, and other members of their households and support in-person learning.
  • Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).

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