By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
In the waning days of the school year, Casper schools have been granted a variance from the state’s public school mask mandate by the Wyoming Department of Health.
Officials with Natrona County School District No. 1 requested the variance on Monday and it was approved Thursday. As of Friday, masks will be optional for all students, staff and school visitors while on district premises.
Face coverings must still be worn on all district transportation service vehicles, which is a federal order for all schools.
All of the schools will continue to have a masking requirement in and around a designated nursing station.
“Bullying, intimidation, shaming, or harassment of any kind by any individual regarding a person’s choice to wear or not wear a face covering will NOT be tolerated,” the district said in an announcement Thursday.
Students and staff will also be required to wear a mask or face covering while visiting another school or event outside of the district if they are asked to do so.
This is the largest school district in the state to receive a mask variance, following in the footsteps of other Wyoming school districts such as Sweetwater, Goshen and Park counties. Most have reported success from this move, but around 100 people recently had to be quarantined in Sheridan County following the removal of their mask policy.
Natrona County had 25 active coronavirus cases as of Thursday.