(Lander, WY) – In a 4-3 vote, the Fremont County School District (FCSD) #1 School Board passed a motion stating that staff and administration will no longer conduct Covid-19 contact tracing and notification, nor will they enforce Covid-19 protocols.
The decision was made at the December 14th School Board meeting, where the Board directed Superintendent Dr. Dave Barker to notify the Wyoming Department of Health and District stakeholders that the motion will go into effect on January 3rd.
Those in favor of the motion, proposed by Board Vice-Chairperson Scott Jensen, included Jensen, Members Brett Berg and Taylor Jacobs, and Chairperson Jared Kail.
Those against included Treasurer Michelle Escudero, Clerk Dr. Kathy Hitt, and Member Teresa Nirider.
Jensen proposed the motion based on the following recognitions:
1 – The rates of Covid-19 transmission in Fremont County and the State of Wyoming are very low and dropping;
2 – During the duration of the pandemic the transmission rate of Covid-19 amongst students and staff has consistently been lower than the rate in the community at large;
3 – The number of active Covid-19 cases in the District is at or near zero;
4 – A vaccine for Covid-19 for all adults and school age children is widely available;
5 – Contact tracing and protocol enforcement puts an undue burden on staff and administration and distracts from the primary mission of the District;
6 – The Wyoming Department of Health has the expertise and both the mandate and responsibility to conduct contact tracing and quarantine notification during a public health crisis;
The Board encourages “all students and staff to follow the recommendations they receive from WDH during contact tracing,” and also recommends that “all students, parents, and District personnel to strive to be responsible citizens, who respect one another and take personal responsibility in limiting the spread of Covid-19 and other communicable diseases by continuing to adhere to current District policies.”