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NCSD board of trustees vote to not apply for mask mandate variace

The Natrona County board of trustees on April 19
The Natrona County board of trustees on April 19(Bobbee Russell)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 11:09 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Natrona County School District board of Trustees voted to not apply for a variance to end the mask mandate in the schools. There were four trustees who wanted the variance and five who didn’t to make the motion fail.

Health officials say they dont’ have enough data to show exactly how COVID-19 affects children. “This doggone virus from this start is novel. I equate to where we are now with kids to where we were with adults back in the spring. we were struggling along with the whole country,” said Dr. Andy Dunn, the WMC chief of staff.

Trustees asked the health officials if masks really work and spoke about conflicting information. Dr. Mark Dowell, a Natrona County health officer, said they do because he hasn’t seen a case of influenza in the hospital with people wearing masks this flu season.

A community member who spoke to the board said masks create problems for kids like inflammation, anxiety and lack of oxygen. Theresa Green, a woman who spoke at the meeting, said she’s worried about her kid’s health. “[My daughter] is constantly getting headaches and is nauseous. She says it goes away when she can take her mask off. If she’s feeling sick all the time how is that affecting her learning,” Green said.

A common consensus from community members addressing the board was a concern for children’s mental health. A lot of them wished there was a mental health professional present.

NCSD sent out a survey to parents saying 80 percent of families approve of a mask variance.

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