Powell Schools Go Maskless After State Approves Variance
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 30, 2021
Both Powell and Cody have the official approval from the Wyoming Department of Health for students and staff to go maskless in the classroom.
Park County Public Health Officer Dr. Aaron Billin announced the variance, requested by the Park County School District #1 Board of Trustees, was approved by the Wyoming Department of Health. Now, Powell students can go to class without a mask.
According to Dr. Billin, the variance was approved by Park County Public Health on Wednesday, April 28. After review by the department and State Health Officer Alexia Harrist, the state approved the request on Thursday, April 29.
The approved variance is almost identical to the one drafted and submitted by Park County School District #6. Therefore, the same parameters will be followed by both school districts.
Effective Friday, April 30, Powell’s students and school staff are no longer required to wear masks in classrooms, through the halls, and anywhere in school buildings.
It’s the first time since August 2020 that students will see each other’s entire faces during school.
Masks will still be required in certain instances. Much like Cody’s variance, masks will still be required on buses, during sports and activities, and during graduation – depending on the venue.
Furthermore, according to the approved variance request:
“Park County School District #1 will continue to follow isolation and quarantine and other recommendations from public health officials. If transmission levels in Park County increase or an outbreak occur within the school, this exemption request may be revoked by the County or State Health Officer.”
The variance also accommodates any students and staff who are uncomfortable working in a mask-free building. The district is “prepared to accommodate” anyone who chooses to stop going to school in person due to isolation, quarantine, or risk of infection.