Cody Schools Adopt New Quarantine Policies – But No Masks
Written by Andrew-Rossi on September 14, 2021
Park County School District #6 has adopted new policies to protect Cody students from COVID-19 – and masks aren’t mandated but remain highly encouraged.
The 2021-2022 school year is already off to a rough start. Less than a month in, several Cody students and staff are out of school, in quarantine for having COVID-19 or being exposed to a COVID-positive person.
As the current surge stays bad in Cody, there is some community discussion that Park County School District #6 is considering and may implement a mask mandate. However, neither option has been suggested by the Board of Trustees at this point.
On Monday evening, the district published a statement on its new infection, quarantine, and attendance protocols in Cody schools.
The following statement appeared on the Park County School District #6 website on Friday, Sept. 12.
“With our new quarantine protocols, the best way to keep your student in school is by wearing a mask. This will allow your student to remain in school if he/she is exposed and is asymptomatic. Please consider having your child voluntarily wear a mask during this period of increasing Covid cases and quarantines.
Thank you, PCSD 6.”
Accompanying the statement was a graphic detailing when students can stay in school and when they need to stay home after exposure to COVID-19.
A Cody student who has been in close contact with a COVID-positive person can stay in school – so long as they are asymptomatic and wear a mask after the exposure. In this case, “close contact” is within six feet of a COVID-positive person for longer than 15 minutes.
Students not wearing masks will need to quarantine. But even then, there are options.
Option One is for students to stay in quarantine at home for a full ten days. Option Two is to quarantine at home for seven days but get tested on Day Five. If the test comes back negative and the student shows no COVID symptoms, they may return to school on Day Seven.
These measures are being taken to make all Cody students and parents happy – keeping kids in class while holding off on a school mask mandate (for now.)
So far, Park County School District #6 has not suggested it is considering a mask mandate. Last week, a survey was sent to the district’s parents asking their opinions on a renewed mandate but did not suggest one was imminent.
Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin has suggested a mask mandate may be necessary if schools want to continue classes in person. He cited a recent study that showed distance learning had a detrimental effect on students’ mental health, particularly in high school.
Wyoming was one of the few states to have in-person classes for the entire 2020-2021 school year. But, if Cody and the state want to make it thru this year, a mask mandate may be necessary sooner rather than later.
“To keep our buildings open, we continue to encourage students to voluntarily wear face coverings to school,” says Tim Foley, Interim Superintendent. “I am imploring our parents and guardians to continue diligence in keeping your children home if they are sick. This will go a long way in helping us mitigate the spread of this virus. In addition, we ask our community to help slow the spread.”
“Our goal is to continue in-person instruction and ensure that our sports and activities may continue. This is an incredible challenge for us all, but we can do this together,” Foley says.