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Teacher and staff illnesses force week-long school closure in Ten Sleep

Ten Sleep School (Screenshot via Google Street View)

CASPER, Wyo. — A “large number” of teachers and staff out due to illness has forced Washakie County School District #2 to halt in-person classes until Wednesday, October 20.

Washakie County School District #2 Superintendent Jimmy Phelps announced on Wednesday, October 13 that students would be asked to participate in online classes on Thursday, Monday and Tuesday. There was no school scheduled for Friday.

All school activities have been canceled through October 20.

The announcement said that students would be sent home with materials needed for online classes.

The Washakie County School District #2 Board of Trustees recently changed the district’s COVID-19 quarantine policies.

“When a person in our school tests positive, we will contact trace as good as possible within the school and notify staff members and the parents of those students who meet the criterion for quarantining,” Phelps wrote in an announcement explaining the policy. “The parents and staff members meeting the criterion will make the decision as to whether or not they feel that they need to quarantine by staying home or choosing to continue attending school as long as the staff member or student has no COVID-related symptoms.”

“The Board of Trustees encourages those who meet the criteria for quarantine but choose to attend school to wear a mask during that period of time they would be quarantined, but they are not required. As well as wearing a mask during the quarantine period, they also encourage parents and staff to be tested [if] they have COVID symptoms and for all of us to be tolerant of decisions others make concerning COVID-related issues, such as vaccines, testing, quarantining, etc.”

The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.