Community asked to celebrate NCSD Class of 2020 graduation safely - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Community asked to celebrate NCSD Class of 2020 graduation safely

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The four high schools in the Natrona County School District are preparing to hold graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the schools are holding modified outdoor graduation ceremonies to ensure safety. The three Casper high schools will hold drive-in style graduation ceremonies outside the Casper Events Center.

The Casper ceremonies will be live-streamed by 104.7 KISS FM and are scheduled as follows (further details from NCSD available here):

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  • Kelly Walsh High School: 7 pm May 28
  • Natrona County High School: 7 pm May 29
  • Roosevelt High School: 2 pm May 29
  • Midwest High School: check with school for ceremony attendance information

NCSD and the Casper-Natrona County Health Department released further safety guidelines for the ceremonies and other graduation gatherings on Friday, May 22, asking that people celebrate safely.

“As an entire community, we are honored and excited to celebrate the educational excellence and accomplishments of graduating seniors,” they said. “Undoubtedly, the ceremonies look different than many had dreamed of, and with that comes understandable sadness and disappointment, but we hope you create some positive, lasting memories in spite of the current circumstances.”

“Graduation marks a milestone, a big achievement. It is a milestone for not just graduates, but also for parents, families, and friends. The Casper-Natrona County Health Department and the Natrona County School District want you to be able to celebrate this monumental occasion with friends and family. “

CNCHD and NCSD ask that people follow these safety guidelines:

  • Limit your celebrations or gatherings to small groups of 25 or less as the statewide public health orders require. 
  • If you are sick, stay home and encourage guests who may be ill or who have been exposed to someone ill to stay home.  
  • Promote hand washing throughout the celebration and consider providing guests with hand sanitizer.  
  • While celebrating, try to maintain as much distance from others as possible.
    • Even if they are your close family or friends, if you don’t live in the same household you may be at risk of getting sick or even getting them sick.
    • Many people who get COVID-19 have minimal to no signs or symptoms of illness. Even in those with symptoms, they can spread the virus for many days before they feel sick, and for days after they feel better.
  • Food is often the best part of these events and celebrations. Minimize exposure by using paper and disposable products and not allowing guests to serve themselves.  
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces frequently can also help minimize risk, especially high touch surfaces like door handles and counters. Many household cleaners are adequate for killing COVID-19.  
  • Consider asking your guests to wear a face covering.  Although it may need to come off for things like eating, it can offer protection when people are otherwise just socializing and spending time together.

“While we are on the topic of ensuring graduation celebrations are safe, fun, and healthy for all families we want to remind you alcohol, firearms, and other prohibited items will not be allowed on the Events Center, or on school, premises,” the joint release adds. “Following the provided guidance will help to minimize the potential risk of exposure to friends and family while you celebrate the graduating class of 2020! None of these measures are as effective alone as they are when combined together. Please do your part to protect your friends, family, and safeguard the health of our community while celebrating the class of 2020.”

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email:

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.