For Immediate Release
May 25, 2021, Jackson, WY – Statewide Health Order #1, which requires masks in public and private K-12 schools, is set to expire on May 31, 2021. Most schools in Teton County, WY are in session through June 11, 2021. Since many students in Teton County have not had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the Teton District Health Officer has put into place Public Health Order #21-4. This public health order will require students, teachers, school staff and visitors in public and private K-12 schools to wear face coverings from June 1, 2021 through June 11, 2021. This order is consistent with the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines which specifically recommend ongoing mask wearing in K-12 schools through the end of the academic year.
While children are less likely to experience severe disease, COVID-19 still poses a risk to all age groups. COVID-19 is still present in our community and gathering in large numbers in small classrooms presents an opportunity for “super spreading” events which could impact many households. The majority of students in K-12 schools are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine due to age. Many of those aged 12 to 16, the population that most recently became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, will not be fully vaccinated by the end of this school year.
Teton County District Health Officer, Travis Riddell, MD, MPH, further explains why having a mask order in schools for the rest of the year is important, saying, “Since most Teton County students are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine or fully vaccinated, we want to continue to ensure their safety during in-person learning. Wearing a mask is still the first line of defense against COVID-19 for most children in the school setting. This order will help provide a safe end to the school year.”
To see Public Health Order #21-4 please visit, http://www.tetoncountywy.gov/2064/Current-Health-Orders-and-Guidance. Teton County Health Department urges community members to follow the CDC’s latest guidance on mask usage. To read the CDC’s guidance on mask use please visit, http://www.tetoncountywy.gov/2061/COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccine is available in Teton County for anyone 12 and older. To book an appointment or to see when the clinic is open and accepting walk-ins please visit, http://www.tetoncountywy.gov/covidvax.