CHEYENNE — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist addressed COVID-19 Coronavirus concerns considering the approaching school year during a press conference on Wednesday.
Dr. Harrist said schools are “incredibly important” for many reasons, including providing children with the opportunity to socialize. However, she said safety is of utmost importance.
“We need to make sure our students and teachers are safe,” Dr. Harrist said.
She said to limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools, people should stay home when sick, uphold proper social distancing when possible, and wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible.
Dr. Harrist said there will unfortunately be COVID-19 cases among students, however she hopes that by following COVID-19 precautions, the case count will be “lower and more manageable”.
Governor Gordon said he had discussion with the school district superintendents this week and he appreciates all the work that has been put into the reopening plans. He said the districts and state will have to overcome challenges as they come.
“No matter how planned we are for this school year, there will be hiccups,” Governor Gordon said of school reopenings.
Gordon said all Smart Start reopening plans have been turned in and that they are currently being reviewed.
Dr. Harrist said if a student and staff member test positive for COVID-19, public health officials will be notified, the individual will be placed under quarantine, and contact tracing will commence. Close contacts are people who were in contact with the infected individual within six feet for 10 minutes or more.
School officials will then be contacted and may be asked for further information.