NCSD planning to provide cloth masks on buses and in schools when students return - Casper, WY Oil City News
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NCSD planning to provide cloth masks on buses and in schools when students return


CASPER, Wyo. — The Natrona County School District are working on plans to welcome students to schools during a summer school program and for the fall semester of the 2020-2021 school year.

The NCSD Board of Trustees will continue discussing a draft “Smart Start Reopening Plan” required by the Wyoming Department of Education during a 6 pm Monday, July 20 work session.

Natrona County Health Officers Dr. Mark Dowell and Dr. Ghazi Ghanem told the trustees during their last work session that implementing the use of face coverings is the best bet to keep schools open amid the COVID-19 pandemic after students return.

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As part of the draft Smart Start plan, NCSD have shared details of what they are proposing in terms of the use of face coverings. The district noted that the statewide COVID-19 related public health orders currently require that students and staff wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained.

That order has been extended through July 31. NCSD said that they will align with future statewide and local public health orders. If a statewide or local public health order is not in effect, the district “will encourage masks to be worn by students and staff when social distancing of 3’- 6’ cannot be maintained.”

Students and staff will be allowed to remove their face coverings in settings where at least 6 feet of distance between people can be maintained, under the draft plan.

NCSD is planning to provide cloth masks for students and staff to use at school and on buses. The district says they plan to provide child and adult sizes which come in different colors.

“The warehouse has a stock of cloth masks for approximately 70% of the students and staff on a daily basis,” NCSD said. “For summer school, masks will be delivered to schools next week based on each school’s summer enrollment numbers from Monday, July 20.”

“Initially, a three-day supply will be delivered. This will allow for the first day’s mask to be laundered while using the second-day allotment.”

The cloth masks will be collected at the end of each day and laundered.  

“An allotment of masks equal to 70% of the school’s enrollment will be available daily on a rotation basis as other sets of masks are being laundered by NCSD Laundry Services,” NCSD said. “Laundry bags will be provided to deposit and transport masks.”

Students riding buses will be required to wear face coverings since six feet of distance can not be ensured.

“For morning routes, students will be provided a mask if they don’t come to the bus with their own,” NCSD said. “This mask will be their mask for the entire school day and for the bus ride home. Students are asked to come to the bus for their afternoon route wearing a mask that they wore during the day.”

“At the end of the bus ride in the afternoon, students will deposit the NCSD mask in laundry bags to be laundered by NCSD Transportation staff. Each bus will have the same amount of masks to distribute daily.”

 The district also provided updates about other personal protective equipment which will be used as schools reopen.

“Sanitizer bottles will be provided by the warehouse for the main entries and exits in each building/site,” NCSD said. “The foam sanitizer can be refilled. Do not dispose of the bottle; use the refill sanitizer that will be provided by Warehouse. These bottles will sit on a table. These bottles will be delivered to schools/sites next week.”

“Sanitizer dispensers (similar to the soap dispensers currently in restrooms) for each classroom will be installed by maintenance outside each classroom door once the dispensers arrive. Sets of 100 are currently being sent from the manufacturer when they become available. The warehouse currently has 100 in stock.”

Schools are able to request that these dispensers be installed for use during summer school. They’ll be provided to schools on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“Eventually, all classrooms will have a dispenser outside their room (hopefully by the start of school on September 2nd),” NCSD said. “The dispensers have refillable bags which can be requested from the warehouse.”

The district will also place floor markers at schools to help ensure six feet of distance is maintained in the buildings prior to the fall semester.

“The markers are intended for social distance spacing for cafeterias and areas where students/staff will be in lines,” NCSD said. “They are designed for internal use.  They will be delivered to schools once they arrive.”

Secondary schools will have acrylic partitions added to their cafeterias.

“The partitions divide a round cafeteria table into four sections,” NCSD said. “Each secondary school will be provided enough partitions for the current number of cafeteria tables in their building.”

“One acrylic partition will be provided to each school to be used in their office area.  These are 24×36 partitions that are set up with no installation requirements. They will be delivered to schools next week.”

Schools will be provided with all-purpose cleaner in all classrooms. High-dilution disinfectant will also be provided to each school.

“Rags for cleaning and disinfecting will be provided by the Warehouse,” the district added. “They will be laundered by NCSD Laundry Services. Laundry bags will be provided to deposit and transport rags.”

The safety measures described in this article are just one aspect of the district’s overall draft re-opening plan. Tuesday’s school board work session will be streamed online.

“Stakeholder feedback can be emailed to where it will be collected, without alteration, and submitted to the Board of Trustees and Cabinet,” the district said. “The intent of the Smart Start Reopening Plan is to open schools, keep them open, and provide a high-quality learning environment for all students to progress in their learning while maintaining our commitment to the safety and health of all students, staff, and the community

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.