Sheridan, WYO — The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) has approved a request from all Sheridan County school districts to make masks optional in K-12 schools. The change took effect today.

Approval from the WDH exempts local schools from the mask requirement included in the Twenty-Fourth Continuation of Statewide Public Health Order #1.

Signed by State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist, the exception also grants school districts the authority to continue requiring masks under certain circumstances. This may include bus trips for activities and other situations where masks could help curb transmission, as determined by school and district administration in consultation with health officials.

The exception could also be revoked by the County Health Officer or State Health Officer if COVID-19 transmission within the county increases, an outbreak occurs within schools, or if otherwise deemed necessary by outbreak metrics.

The district has assembled a Frequently Asked Questions document and will add new content as questions arise. All staff, parents, and students are encouraged to read the FAQ document carefully.

“We feel good about the outcome of this process, because it was driven entirely by data, science, and guidance from trained medical professionals,” said SCSD2 superintendent of schools Craig Dougherty.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have turned to experts and to hard data to drive all decisions,” said Dougherty. “This approach has served our students and staff well over the last thirteen months.”

Moving forward, the district will continue to monitor data closely in collaboration with Sheridan County Public Health, local health officials, and partners in Sheridan County School Districts 1 and 3.

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