Sheridan County Public Health is collaborating extensively with area schools to respond to the effects of COVID-19.
“We are continually communicating with local principals and school nurses to identify individuals who may have been in contact with positive cases,” said Public Health Nurse Manager Debra Haar.
There have been positive cases of COVID-19 among Sheridan County School District No. 2 students and staff since this summer, as well as close contacts with positive cases who have been ordered to quarantine. The agencies have collaborated to address the impact of each case, strictly adhering to protocols established by the Wyoming Department of Health.
“The process of identifying and isolating those who may have been in contact with a positive case is important for reducing potential spread,” said Haar.
In the event that a student or staff member tests positive, or is in close contact with a positive case, Public Health contact tracers reach out to all parents/students or staff that were in close contact with that individual. They determine whether those people need to be tested or even quarantined. This determination is made by the type and duration of contact following state protocols.
SCSD2 students determined to be in close contact with a COVID-19 case and subsequently quarantined will be able to continue their education remotely until they are able to return to the classroom. Additionally, Public Health staff will continue to be in contact with them to monitor their health.
“Our Sheridan County schools are doing a great job of partnering with Public Health and protecting the student population. We expected to have COVID-19 positive cases among students, and our school districts have done an excellent job of preparing for this. They were ready,” said Sheridan County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hunter.
“In order for the safety plans at our schools to work effectively,” said Hunter, “we need the community to take this disease seriously. All Sheridan residents should be wearing masks and social distancing. This is what will keep schools running.”
According to SCSD2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty, support from Public Health has been critical for reopening schools. “Public Health has been an outstanding partner; now we need the entire Sheridan community to step up and join the effort.”
Public Health encourages citizens to be vigilant and practice all appropriate hygiene and distancing recommendations. Your hard work protects you, your family, and your community.
COVID-19 Best Practices
The public is encouraged to follow these guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Wyoming Department of Health (WDH):
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with anyone outside of your household.
- Wear cloth face coverings when out in the public.
- Stay home if sick. (If you are concerned that the symptoms you are experiencing are outside of your normal everyday condition, please consult your physician.)
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.